martes, 7 de junio de 2011

Mexican Style, Brown-Sugar Crusted Beef Ribs with Custom Made Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

Wait for it
Damn, that was a long-ass title. Ribs are the best part of any animal. Well, at least the edible ones. They have the perfect ratios of meat, fat and bone. You just can't go wrong with ribs. I've cooked all sorts of things for my friends and family, but it's the ribs that always get the most smiles. Hell, I've got herbivore friends that have actually said "I'd eat that". The thing with ribs is that BBQ sauce is not so big here in Mexico. We usually just sprinkle some kosher salt on our ribs and scorch them over the fire. Like most non-americans, we find BBQ sauce sickly sweet, and it's not such an important part of our grocery list.

This is where my sauce comes in... (Should be called Dr. Cochiloco, coz quite frankly I'm a real doctor, whereas this Pepper guy can't make up his mind on whether he's a Dr or a General or whatever.)

But I digress. I, for one, think Dr. Pepper is a vile tasting drink (even though I love root beer), reminiscent of cough syrup or one of those homeopathic witch's brews my mom once tried to force down my thoat. It is, however, an amazing condiment for meats, even on its own. I've braised brisket in nothing but Dr. Pepper and salt in a pressure cooker and had several epiphanies while doing so.

The beauty of these ribs is that you get all the 23 mystery flavors from the drink to infuse your sauce, and they marry perfectly with a Pinot noir if you feel like you need poise with your meal. I made about 5 liters, so everyone could take a refilled Dr. Pepper bottle full of saucy goodness back home.

You'll start with 8 lbs of beef ribs. Get them from a mexican butcher, we always leave some cube roll meat on the top side. Now rinse them with cold water, pat the dry and cover them with a mix of 1lb brown sugar and 1lb kosher salt. Let them rest for at least 30 mins. I could have one of my famous Sheldon moments and explain how the sodium breaks down the collagen, but this blog made a perfectly fine job at explaining.
While the meat rests, start making the sauce. First you need to boil down 3 lts of Dr. Pepper. Like all mexican soft drinks, Dr. Pepper is made with real sugar here, not corn syrup. So either get it from a mexican grocery store or buy the "Heritage" or "Real Sugar" flavors. "Real Sugar" Dr. Pepper is actually better, because it has some beet extract and it adds another layer of flavor. 
Mix it with 3lts of canned tomato sauce and 1/2 lt of soy sauce. It's imperative that you get good quality soy sauce, like Kikoman or La Choy. This sauce has very little added sugar, and it will thicken in part due to the effect of the soy sauce caramelizing. Also, most cheap soy sauces taste like liquid ass.
Out of focus Hervibore Friend Approves! (God, this is a crappy pic)
Anyways, you could always just dump everything into a big-ass pot and stir til it's done, but we had to work with smaller saucepans. Once it reduced enough, add about 1/2lb of brown sugar and salt to taste. Not pictured, coz I'm a dumbass, is 2 heads of garlic and 1 large onion, blended with 500ml of apple cider vinegar that I added along with the sugar.
Let it boil down until it's reduced by about 25%. I cannot stress enough on the fact that you should stir this every couple of minutes, otherwise, steam will build up and it will boil over and/or explode... like so:
But, then again, exploding pots are a guy thing
Now back to the ribs... By now they've probably been sitting under their rub for about 40 minutes, so it's time to grill. Place them bone side down over white-hot coals and cover the grill for 30 minutes
Once your 30 minutes have passed, the coals will have probably died down a little, so it's safe to flip your ribs. The sugar will have stuck to the meat, and when it caramelizes, it'll make a bitchin crust on the rack.
it's f***ing flippin time, bitches!
Let them cook for another 20 minutes and flip them back again. Now smother them with as much sauce as they can hold and cover the grill again for 10-15 minutes.
Salivatin' like Pavlov's dogs
Now test your meat for doneness. The ribs should be slightly over medium. If you like meat well done, you don't deserve it and you should be charring hotdogs. Take the racks off the grill and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Letting the meat rest distributes the heat evenly and relaxes the collagen fibers, so more juices remain in the meat.
Look at these beautiful MoFos... now back to ME... now back at the ribs... now back to ME
Anything is possible when you cook ribs like a MAN...
Remember to slice the meat at 45° against the grain, of you'll be chewing flipflops with sauce. Serve the shaved meat along with the rib bones (with some meat still attached, of course) drizzled all over with whatever juices were exuded. Make sure everyone gets extra sauce and dig in.

Or get some rolls and make sliders with the meat and some sauteed portobellos and bell peppers... Nirvana

It seemed fitting to bottle the extra sauce in the Dr Pepper bottles
I'm tellin you nerd boy, these ribs'll get you laid

Printer-friendly version:
Mexican Style, Brown-Sugar Crusted Beef Ribs with Custom Made Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

2 4lb racks of beef ribs
1 lb brown sugar
1 lb kosher salt

Sauce (yields about 4lts):
3lts Dr. Pepper (Real Sugar or Heritage)
3lts Canned Tomato sauce
1/2 lt soy sauce
1/2 lt Apple cider Vinegar
2 heads of garlic
1 large onion
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Coat the ribs with the salt and sugar and let them rest for at least 20 mins. Light up the grill.
  2. Blend the garlic and onion with the vinegar and put everything in a pot large enough to hold that much liquid. Boil down until reduced by roughly 1/3.
  3. Place the ribs bone-side-down on the grill over white-hot coals and cover. Cook for 30 minutes
  4. Flip the ribs, cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  5. Flip the ribs again, then smother in sauce. Cover and let caramelize for 10-15 more minutes.
  6. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle the juices over the meat when plating. Dispense sauce as needed.
  7. Feel awesome

6 comentarios:

  1. I wonder if, for local & sustainable's sake, you use the magnificent Root Beer Gil from Hermosillo's own. I still have dreams about that root beer ....

    .... Even more sustainable if you bring your own jug and skip their Styrofoam cups.

    Whatevs, I'm drooling here ...

  2. @mani... dang it, I hadn't thought about it... I will most definitely try it some time soon

  3. Esta foto me provoco que por poco salieran lagrimas machas de tanta belleza:

  4. "most cheap soy sauces taste like liquid ass" Truer words were never written. I remember my dad once brought a family sized oilcan of generic/dubious-looking brand soy sauce... tastebud nightmares!