Beef back rib BBQ on Memorial day 牛バックリブのバーベキュー

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On Memorial day, we like to barbecue particularly if the weather allows. We tend to be in a rut and cook whole chickens served with sides of potato and macaroni salads. We have done roast pork, beef, lamb etc and wanted to do something different this year. So we cooked beef back rib this year.

We fired up two Weber kettles. One was used for baking pizzas and the other was used to cook the ribs. Oh, we also made teba gyoza. The answer to my wife’s question how many wings can I prepare and cook one time; twelve! (see below).

I removed the wingtips to save space on the grill. I ended up cooking the teba gyoza in two batches but if we were not cooking the ribs, I could have cooked all 12 at once.  I did not take a picture of the final and cooked teba gyoza but it is the same as before but lacking the handle (i.e. wingtips) to hold onto.

The recipe for the ribs is based on ones listed in the  Weber webpage.

Ribs: I got center back ribs (with 6 ribs). I removed excess fat and rubbed the dry rub below I placed the ribs in the Ziploc bag and refrigerated for 8 hours.

Dry rub: Dried oregano (2 tsp), smoked paprika (2 tsp), dried granulated onion  (2 tsp), brown sugar (1 tsp), kosher salt (1 tsp), and ground black pepper (1 tsp).

Barbecue sauce: Initially I was to use store bought Mango BBQ sauce (which had been given to us sometime ago) but, upon tasting, I decided it was too sweet and my wife decided to make her own BBQ sauce. Here is the recipe my wife made which is a “classic” ketchup based sauce. Her recipe is based on one in “Joy of Cooking” but with her own variations. It is also very similar to the one used in pork spare rib.


For the sauce; Two medium onions were coarsely diced and sauteed in a small amount of olive oil until soft and caramerized (15-20 minutes). One cup of ketchup was added to the pan and cooked, scraping the bits left behind from cooking the onions, until the sugar in the ketchup was caramelized (the color will change from red to more dull brownish color). Combine, the onion and the ketchup in a sauce pan with a mixture of rice vinegar (2 tbs), water (1/2 cup), lemon (1/4 cup), paprika powder (1/2 tsp), Worcestershire sauce ( 1 tbs), salt (1 tsp), brown sugar (1 tbs) and mustard (1 tbs.) and simmer for about 15 minutes.

I added about ½ cup of red wine (since we did not have wine which did not pass our Wednesday wine drinkability criteria – lowest-, we used one we will be drinking in the near future) to the sauce and simmered it for 5-6 minutes and kept it warm.

I took the ribs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to come to room temperature. I prepared the grill for indirect heat and added soaked apple wood chips for smoking. Using the direct heat part of the grill, I seared both side 5-6 minutes each. I then transfer the ribs (I had to cut it in half) to a Pyrex baking dish and poured the wine/BBQ sauce mixture over the ribs and covered it tightly with aluminium foil. I placed it in the indirect heart area and further cooked it for 1 more hour (see picture below).

As you can see the sauce reduced and the meat was almost coming off the bones. It is usual to serve it with the bone on, but the meat just came of the bone as I was serving. So I just served the meat sans (without) bone (the first picture).

We are not connoisseurs of BBQ as they are in the South and Texas, but we thought these were mighty good ribs with BBQ sauce. The sauce; caramelized with the juice from the meat was just the right consistency–ooey-gooey, mildly smokey sweet and sour. The meat had a nice crust and melted in your mouth. We had our usual macaroni salad (Memorial day would not be Memorial day without that) with the addition of black bean corn salad. But this combined with the pizza, and the chicken wings–which had to be tasted as they came off the grill, of course, was way too much food.



As and antidote/libation, we chose shiraz from Maclaren valley, Australia called Clarendon Hills McLaren Valley Piggott Range Vineyard, Syrah 2005. This is a very nice heavy duty shiraz. It stood up against the strong flavorof the BBQed ribs. This one got 97 from Wine Advocate.

97 Points – Wine Advocate

Deep crimson in color with mineral notes, violets, spice box, black pepper, espresso, smoked game, and blueberry aromatics. Deceivingly opulent, it has enough structure to merit 8-10 years of cellaring and should make old bones. Drink it through 2035.”

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