Eden Cooks - Ribs and a Whiskey Sour - Mon. May 20 at 8pm EST

Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova

Sheesh, this'll learn me to go on vacation when I've got a cooks meeting coming up. Invite your friends, guys, even right now!
I did invite a friend but she's just getting off work! That's the problem with being 3 hours behind; it's only 5 PM
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Lildrummrgurl7
I did invite a friend but she's just getting off work! That's the problem with being 3 hours behind; it's only 5 PM
Time zones are always a struggle... I'm sure they were nice back when everybody rode trains, but with the internet, going back to a standard might be easier!



The next step is to make the 'sour.' Bars use a crappy, sugar-loaded, not-even-real-citrus sour mix. If you're at a place that doesn't have real citrus, just get straight whiskey, because that stuff will hurt your stomach (if you're like me). So, to make it good:
Juice the whole lemon and the whole lime into a water glass. Be sure to wring all the pulp into the sour too, scraping it up against the edge of the glass.
This will work your fingers if you're not used to it---but that's just good training, right?



05/20/2013
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
Time zones are always a struggle... I'm sure they were nice back when everybody rode trains, but with the internet, going back to a standard might be easier!



The next step is to make the 'sour.' Bars use a crappy, ... More
Sweet and sour mix at bars just makes me really really thirsty and I can only drink one or two whiskey sours before I get a headache from the sugar. Ugh.
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Lildrummrgurl7
Sweet and sour mix at bars just makes me really really thirsty and I can only drink one or two whiskey sours before I get a headache from the sugar. Ugh.
Yeah, they give a bad name to the drink, in my opinion.
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

We've covered simple syrup a time or two in the past, but it's really simple, so if you haven't been here for Simple Syrup Time before: Just take 2 parts sugar, 1 part water, and heat it up until it comes to a rolling boil. Don't get any on your skin. Turn off the heat, let it cool, bottle it up, and you have simple syrup! (It's easy to infuse with any kind of flavor, and if you use brown sugar instead of white you get pancake syrup that is WAY more delicoius than the store-bought waxy stuff.)


So take your simple syrup, and drizzle in the amount that tastes right to you. I use about a quarter of an ounce because I love it sour, but other people like between half-an-ounce and three-quarters of an ounce.

05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

Fill a rocks glass with ice. No need to skimp on the ice---having more in the glass means the glass will have more thermal mass at that temperature, and less ice will melt, so your drink will stay tastier longer.



Add one shot of decent whiskey.

No need to use the best stuff, because you're making a cocktail out of it. But use something on the Maker's Mark level. I like Bulleit Rye and Bulleit Bourbon for mixed drinks.
05/20/2013
snowminx snowminx
Is there anything we can use to substitute the whiskey? Like a virgin version? lol
Also my computer is being super slow tonight =(
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by snowminx
Is there anything we can use to substitute the whiskey? Like a virgin version? lol
Also my computer is being super slow tonight =(

Oh bummer!

But if you want a virgin version... while I was at work I actually used to make (for myself) a toddy sour... toddy the cold-brewed equivalent of espresso! I got a caffeine jolt along with my tartness fix.

If you want to make toddy, grind 1# of dark roast coffee very coarsely. Let it sit overnight in cool water, then run it through a coffee filter. It is much more mellow and sweet than coffee brewed in a hurry with hot water. It is also very concentrated, so if you want a cup of iced coffee, use like 2oz toddy and 8oz water, then fill your glass with ice.
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

Use your martini strainer to prevent seeds from gettin' all up in your cocktail.



Top off your whiskey with your sour.




(You'll notice these aren't my hands doing the pouring... but I was standing right next to her, teaching and taking pictures.)
05/20/2013
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova

Use your martini strainer to prevent seeds from gettin' all up in your cocktail.



Top off your whiskey with your sour.




(You'll notice these aren't my hands doing the pouring... but I was standing ... More
Oh man, now I want a whiskey sour. Too bad I have a poorly stocked bar
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Lildrummrgurl7
Oh man, now I want a whiskey sour. Too bad I have a poorly stocked bar

Not even any whiskey in it?

Cut a lime to garnish, add two li'l bar straws, and you have a perfect summer drink! Replace the whiskey with amarretto if you are so inclined.

05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

So, whiskey sour in hand (or not), off to the grill!
You'll need some hardware, and some ingredients. I'm going to list both:



A propane grill and a full tank of propane, or a charcoal grill and a bag of charcoal
Foodsafe wood chips (or chunks, or sawdust, or what you have).
(Apple and hickory and mesquite are the classics, and can be bought usually next to charcoal in stores. You can also use wood you chop yourself, but do not use construction wood or mulch because those are treated with stuff that's not food-safe.)
Tongs
Throwaway aluminum pie pan (or something else to hold water in your grill)
Brush for sauce
thermometer with a probe on a cord.
crummy white bread for grill calibration.



The food:
Ribs. The best your butcher has---I chose baby backs because they cook more quickly than St. Louis cut.
Vegetable oil if you don't start the night before.
A rub. Making your own would be lots of fun!
A sauce. Making your own, again, would be really awesome.

This time, I went with the rub the butcher recommended, because I'm traveling and because, as a grill novice, I wanted to focus on the parts that nobody else could do for me. I also got sauce from a guy with a small business that I met once (and I keep buying his 'Death Paste' because it is amazing). When I knew I'd be doing ribs, I decided I would use his sauce because I was certain it would be delicious. I was so right.



05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

Timing-wise, again, I'm traveling so I don't know this grill at all (not to mention I don't know grills in general!). So I did my meat prep, and then I spent a good long while with the grill on and no food in it, learning how to keep the temperature consistent. So let's get the meat prep underway, and then let's talk about grills!

Unwrap your ribs. Slide a butterknife under the membrane on the back, then pry your fingers under it to remove it. It would get all leathery and trap moisture if you left it on.



Here's my rack of ribs, bone-side up, with the membrane removed.


05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova

Timing-wise, again, I'm traveling so I don't know this grill at all (not to mention I don't know grills in general!). So I did my meat prep, and then I spent a good long while with the grill on and no food in it, learning how to keep ... More
And also upside-down. Thanks, imgur?
05/20/2013
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
Ooooh that's a good looking rack of ribs
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

I put my ribs in a chafing pan so I could wrap them up easily again and not get dry rub all over the fridge I was borrowing.

Drizzle a li'l bit of vegetable oil onto the ribs. As usual, most flavors are fat-soluble, and since I was not going to let the rub sit overnight, I wanted to make sure the flavors could still mobilize and soak in.



Sprinkle and rub on your rub.




Rub both sides. I wrapped mine in saran wrap to keep it safe from oxygen while I fiddled with the grill.


05/20/2013
snowminx snowminx
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
And also upside-down. Thanks, imgur?
Hey thanks for the coffee version and where did you travel to anyways?
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by snowminx
Hey thanks for the coffee version and where did you travel to anyways?
Well I bought these ribs in St. Louis... It's been mostly road trip though, no one destination.



Now to fiddle with the grill.

I make a lot of stocks and soups, and the rule for the best flavor is to simmer for a looooong time at a low temperature. The same goes for grilling meat---keep the temperature low to keep the proteins from bunching all up and wringing out all the moisture. But then, to cook a lot of meat to a safe temperature, it takes a long time.



That's good, though, grilling is an activity to spend your summer weekend. Tend the grill while you talk with family or friends, read a book, listen to good music, or just watch the clouds.



The correct temperature to grill ribs at is 225 Fahrenheit. Because it can get windy, because sometimes you have to open the lid to add wood, because fire isn't 100% uniform, because grilling is an inexact science: your temperature is going to fluxuate. But there are tricks you can use to keep the temperature as constant as possible.
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

The first one isn't at trick, it's more of a mandate---put your thermometer probe right down where the meat goes. If you don't have a reliable way of measuring temperature, you won't be able to have confidence that your ribs are cooked correctly to be safe to eat. Plus you will be throwing away the only way to get feedback as you cook---and who wants to throw away an opportunity for a delicious meal?

The part that's actually a technique is to use indirect heat. As I was grilling, I kept thinking of how maintaining temperature on a grill is like piloting a boat. You can't ever go backwards---you can correct gently, but if you overcorrect you're going to be stuck in a loop. When you're cooking directly over the flame, the response can be really dramatic, and so can any fluctuation in general. But when you have a grill with one burner on, and the other burner off, you are cooking more with convection than with direct radiation. Convection can be a lot more stable, so your gentle corrections can go a long way in the long run.

Making your grilling environment even more stable can be done with a trick from bread baking. Putting a cheap pan full of water directly over the heat source does two things: it adds thermal mass, so more energy is needed for each change in degree in the grill environment (so everythign stays more stable); and it also produces steam as the environment heats up, so it keeps your ribs' from forming a tougher crust than necessary. It still will form the delicious and appropriate bark---but it won't get overcharred.
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

I spent about an hour with no food in the grill learning to keep my grate at 225F despite wind and clouds and who-knows-what-else. Then I took a tip from the guy in charge of amazingribs.com and went to check my grill's uniformity. I left my water pan where it was, and laid down slices of crappy white sandwich bread and shut the lid again.



After I smelled burning bread, I flipped them all over. I was happy to see that the area I was planning to lay my rib slab all held a consistent temperature. (You can't see it, but the six slices on the end are nice and toasty, just not golden yet.) But the two closer to the flame are starting to burn.)


05/20/2013
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova

The first one isn't at trick, it's more of a mandate---put your thermometer probe right down where the meat goes. If you don't have a reliable way of measuring temperature, you won't be able to have confidence that your ribs are ... More
Considering it was your first time grilling, you sure sound like you knew what you were doing
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Lildrummrgurl7
Considering it was your first time grilling, you sure sound like you knew what you were doing

Part of what I love about Eden Cooks is that it makes me make sure I really know my stuff. Some meetings I'm sharing recipes I've been making my whole life, and then I have to ask myself why I am doing what I am doing. For something totally new, I know exactly what I need to learn before I get started so I don't mess up

Now slap your ribs down. Take your wood chips and put them as close to the fire as you can---this grill had some imitation charcoal briquettes (probably made of ceramic or something?) so I lifted up the grate and put mine on top of that.



Then shut the lid, you want that delicoius smoke in your ribs.
Be careful not to oversmoke your meat. For my rack of ribs, I used one handful, waited half an hour, and added another handful. If you use too much wood, the smoke will overpower all the natural good flavor of your ribs.
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

Enjoy yourself while you maintain the temperature between 210 and 240F. Here you can see me enjoying myself by checking out my dry rub. (I also added a few shakes of the dry rub to my v8, and I will never go back to plain v8 again.)



Baby back ribs will take 3-4 hours. St. Louis cut ribs will take 4-5. My baby backs were done right at the four hour mark... but only use time to judge what kind of cut you can buy based on when you can start grilling. When you're actually cooking, check the actual meat to see if it is ready.
Here I'm showing the result of the 'crack test'---when I lift up the rib rack with my tongs, you can see the bark crack. When I lifted this up at 2 hours, the bark was not developed enough to crack. It just flexed.



Then I sampled one rib just to make sure. It was ready.




It was also amazing.

(That last photo, even though the photo quality isn't too good, shows off the pink 'smoke ring'.
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

Adding the sauce is the final step of cooking ribs---you are basically just taking great flavors, and caramelizing them. Pour and brush your sauce of choice (I'm using A Woman's Scorn from Rick's Test Kitchen... and it is THE BEST if you like habaneros. If you don't, try Rick's Test Kitchen's Dad's Best BBQ) onto both sides of the rack.



Crank the heat up to 325F so the sugars can caramelize. The cooking on of the sauce should take about 5 minutes, and you should be there the whole time. I left the lid open to keep my temperature right (I turned both burners on and cranked them up a ways), so it was easy to stand guard and know when to pull the ribs off the heat.

Carmelization can turn to charcoal quick if you're not ready!
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

And once the sauce is cooked, just tear those ribs apart and enjoy them. You're probably the hero of the cookout now. Live it up.









05/20/2013
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova

Enjoy yourself while you maintain the temperature between 210 and 240F. Here you can see me enjoying myself by checking out my dry rub. (I also added a few shakes of the dry rub to my v8, and I will never go back to plain v8 again.) ... More
Okay, now I'm hungry. Those look amazing.
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

So rounding out this meeting right at 8pm, our Eden Points were supposed to be awarded to people who would share rub recipes and sauce recipes.

I still want to hear your recipes, but I think we're just awarding the points split up among our contributors tonight, so pat each other on the back!
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Lildrummrgurl7
Okay, now I'm hungry. Those look amazing.
I got to eat leftovers for lunch today (since it was raining...) soooooooo delicious.
05/20/2013
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
Oh man, I cheat with my barbeque sauce. So far I haven't developed a good one from scratch but I do use Sweet Baby Ray's as a base and I'll add vinegar, brown sugar, diced onions, and crushed red peppers to make my barbecue sauce.

I need to experiment with my own dry rubs here soon. Maybe this summer will be a good time to start.
05/20/2013
Antipova Antipova

You can be sure I'll be doing some research this summer too

Thank you for coming to the May meeting of Eden Cooks, and I hope you've learned something to improve your next grill-out.

For June's Eden Cooks meeting we're going back to baking---we will learn a 40 minute homemade bun recipe. Perfect for hamburgers, hot dogs, sloppy joes, or anything you want to put on a yeast bun.

Drop back in this thread any time, or we'll see you at 8pm EST on June 17!
05/20/2013
Total posts: 67
Unique posters: 9