Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em September 14, 2012Posted by Peeps in Cooking, Food, random stuff.
Summer is almost over and opportunities to fire up the smoker aren’t going to last forever. So any excuse will do.
A year or so ago, my wife read somewhere on line about some guy who takes slabs of spare ribs and makes what he calls Bacon on a Stick.
Now, anyone who has ever been to a county fair or a Renaissance Faire or anything like that knows perfectly well that just about any food will be improved by being on a stick. It’s just one of those laws of Nature.
Things fell into place when a local butcher shop had ten pound boxes of rib trimmings for dirt cheap. Just before Labor Day. When we had to bring something to the in-law’s house for the holiday.
Since we couldn’t remember where we had read about this idea, and we didn’t feel like searching for it again, we decided to just go for it.
The rib pieces went into three bags and each got about a quarter cup of the same cure that I use when I make bacon. It’s a mix of Kosher salt, sugar and pink salt. I also added some pepper, because why wouldn’t you?
Normally, when I’m curing bacon, I leave it to cure for a week. But since these were such small pieces of ribs, and not much meat was involved, I decided on letting them cure for just three days.
Once the meat is cured, you simply rinse off the ribs and try to get them as dry as possible. Then they go into the smoker.
I used the small smoker. It’s cheaper to heat a much smaller space. Besides, it was already out, and I’m lazy. We just had room for the ten pounds of rib pieces. Barely. But we made it.
Fortunately, because they were such small pieces, they didn’t need to spend a lot of time smoking. I let them smoke for about three hours, which left them tender, but not falling off the bone. I like having a little bit of chew when I make ribs.
After coming off the smoker, we put them in the fridge until the next day, when we went down to see the family. When it was approaching time to eat, they went onto their gas grill on low direct heat for about ten minutes to get warm and crisp up a little.
The verdict? We plan to do this again. The ribs were quite tasty. They didn’t exactly taste like bacon. But they somehow reminded you of it. They were easy, too. Always a plus. And it was nice to see the family keep grabbing another one to nibble on as the afternoon went on. All in all, I think we have a winner.