Traveling 946 miles to New Orleans is a long trip. The drive from Chicago is a little over 14 hours. In those very long 14 hours passing through the middle of ‘Merica you are bound to get hungry (we all know those Reese's Peanut Butter Cups will never make it past Kankakee). As you're leaving Arkansas, it's going to be dinner time, and I can't think of a better place to stop than Memphis, Tennessee.
Memphis is the home to rock ‘n roll as well as dry rubbed BBQ. Dry rub is a non-liquid based marinade, which is applied exactly as it sounds… rubbed into the meat. Dry rubbing is applicable to ribs, pork, chicken, and steak too. The true beauty of this application is with ribs. Your normal ribs are great, but with a dry rub added, they really shine.
You can choose baby back ribs (insert Austin Powers reference), short ribs and even country ribs. If there was ever a thick rib, it's the country rib. This is usually a really tough cut of meat, but with a little low and slow cooking, you can transform these ribs into something delicious.
Cooking time: 1 ½ hours
Prep time: 10 minutes
1 T Cayenne
2 T Chili powder
1 T Garlic powder
½ T Mustard powder
1 T Black pepper, ground
2 T Brown Sugar
2 T Salt
4 Country ribs
Preheat your oven to 325° as you get the rub together. Mix together the cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, pepper, brown sugar and salt.
After mixing, lay out your ribs and sprinkle half of the mixture on top of them. Rub the seasoning into the meat. After that is completed, flip and repeat with the other half of the mixture.
The key here is flavor; we want the most flavor we can get out of this rub. After you have finished applying the rub, tightly wrap them in plastic wrap, and put them in the refrigerator for 3 hours. We need these ribs to absorb as much flavor as possible, so the longer time period will pay off in the end.
Break out your favorite roasting pan with a rack. Pour about an inch of water in the pan. This is going to keep the meat moist. Spread out the ribs separately (this will ensure that the heat will be able to reach all the sides of the rib). Make sure that the fat side of the rib is on top. That way it will baste the rib in the fat through the long cooking time. In order to trap that moisture, cover it in aluminum foil. If your ribs are poking out of the pan, create a tent over the top.
Put them in the oven for one hour. After an hour, remove the foil, apply your favorite barbeque sauce (or make your own), and cover again with foil and cook another 15 minutes. After fifteen minutes, remove the foil, apply more BBQ sauce, place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Now, you have tender, juicy and flavorful ribs. This procedure works great with other meats as well, so don't be afraid to experiment.
If you like grilling, you need to check out The Chopping Block's grilling classes on our outdoor grilling patio at Lincoln Square. And if you are a fan of the slow and low cooking process traditional with barbeque, don't miss our new American BBQ: The Real Deal class coming up in August. It focuses on authentic barbeque techniques from Kansas City, Texas and North Carolina. You won't need to travel 535 miles to taste great BBQ!
We also have lots of tips and recipes to try in our Guide to Grilling. Grilling your way through it will keep you busy this summer!