As Patriotic As Slow-Cooked Pork Ribs…

For me, America’s birthday is mostly about the grilled and smoked meat.  I love liberty and all, but mainly I love the liberty to grill and smoke lots of meat on my deck.

This year I enjoyed several cuts of many different animals at a neighbor’s house on the 4th, then took my turn as fire-master on the 5th.  Having just bought a five-shelf rib rack (through Amazon), I set out to fit the maximum amount of food possible onto my XL Big Green Egg(R).  A few weeks ago, I had watched this epic (19-minutes+) video about how to make perfect pork ribs on the Egg, starting with applying yellow mustard as an adhesive for the spice rub, after which I smoked one test rack for six hours.  It came out unbelievably well.

So on the 5th, I filled my Big Green Egg(R) with five racks of assorted pork and beef ribs, plus one whole chicken sitting on a beer can (Guinness), three-pounds of salmon and a few aluminum-foil wrapped packages of assorted vegetables.  My spice rub was composed of garlic and cumin, combined with two McCormick spice blends, Southwest Seasoning (featuring  various peppers, garlic and onion) and Moroccan Seasoning (slightly sweet, including cinnamon, ginger and cardamom along with pepper and paprika).  I had decided that using spice blends wasn’t cheating, since I was mixing them together and with other things.  My goal, in which I think I succeeded, was to reverse engineer my memory of the spice blend and cooking techniques used at my favorite barbecued ribs place in the world, Bogart’s Smokehouse, across the street from the Soulard Market in St. Louis.  (By the way, my second favorite barbecued rib joint, which is probably the best overall BBQ place I’ve ever been to—be sure to go on a day that they have “Burnt Ends”—is the daringly named Oklahoma Joe’s, mysteriously located in Kansas City. Missouri and Olathe, Kansas.)

Yes, after over six hours of smoking at 250-degrees, all of the meat came out awesome.  Not bad for the suburbs of New York!

Happy Birthday America!

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