Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Dip for Mr Dennis - Country Pork Spareribs

Yes, it’s an AB sort of weekend. I wanted to make these country pork ribs on the grill. Typically I do ribs one of several ways. I either par-boil them and then baste with sauce on the grill (like my daddy showed me) or else I’ll brine them. Today was a brine day. Why brine? Visit here for a complete scientific explanation. Alton Brown, King of the Briners had a great visual example of the brining process using Barbie dolls, but I can’t find it online. Anyway, he has an interesting brine for pork in his James Beard award-winning cookbook I’m Just Here for the Food”. This is a great cookbook that is also a “how-to” and “why-to” of cooking. Can you say SCIENCE?! Along with the recipe, he shares that “Mr. Dennis” is a euphemism for the family pig.

A Dip for Mr. Dennis
Adapted from Alton Brown’s “I’m Just Here for the Food”

Target cut of pork
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
1 ½ cups kosher salt (I cut it by half to ¾)
½ cup molasses

Tea ball or paper coffee filter and string
Medium stockpot
2-gallon plastic bucket

Combine spices in tea ball or tie them securely into a paper coffee filter and place in pot with salt and molasses. Add water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Remove tea ball and discard the spices; pour the liquid into the bucket and add the meat. Allow the meat to brine for at least 6 hours or as long as 12 hours. Remove the meat from the pan, pat dry and immediately cook as desired.

Since I was only using about 5 large “ribs” I cut the amount of salt way back and marinated for about 2 hours. I rinsed the meat off before cooking as well. Grill over med-high heat until juices run clear. Lip-smackin’ pork goodness.

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  1. I miss Dad's ribs !!! They were awesome !!!!

  2. I have amde these very ribs and I can tell you, yes they are very delicious. Thank you Mr. Dennis!

  3. The fact that this recipe has cloves- I bet there is spice in each and every bite! I have not had ribs is a very long while.. too long, I never thought to brine ribs, but what is a "tea ball"? I am an amateur baker and cook so I am still becoming familiar with all the lingo?

  4. Ah I love a good set of ribs and these would work perfectly for my starving tummy about now! Great recipe too, I like the idea of juniper berries.


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