For three months I've been browsing my favorite butcher shop, selecting the best steaks I could find. If there were none in the meat case that met my standards, I wouldn't by what was there. So, I finally found enough really nice rib-eyes, porterhouse, and flat iron steaks to feed the family, that would be Sprout, her husband, and two kids, my son the professional cook, DW, and me.
So next on the list was to buy lump charcoal for the Weber. Bought some. Ok, got fresh corn, made up some really good baked beans, from dried beans, with pork in it of course. The carrot salad was made, two large racks of ribs, untrimmed were purchased, milk in the fridge, watermelon, I'm ready. The kids got here about 3p.m. on Saturday.
I fired up the grill and prepared the steaks. When the charcoal was hot, I put the lid on to cool everything down to a good cooking temperature. I took the steaks out and lifted the lid. The fire seemed to have cooled too much. I put the steaks on and there was no instant sizzle going on. I left the lid off to check something in the house. I was only away from the grill for 3; to 4 minutes at most. I walked back outside to check everything, and the charcoal had gone from too cool to inferno. The bottom of the steaks were completely blackend. The smell of burnt meat filled the air. I flipped them and let the other side cook for 1 minute. I removed the meat to a platter and hoped I could cut the burnt layer off.
I cut the burnt layer off and served up edible, but well done steak to everyone. I went from pit-master, to the pits in about 6 minutes. Heavy, heavy sigh.
Ok, now, on the 5th Removed the thawed ribs from the fridge. rubbed on rack with my brown sugar and chili powder dry rub (yes there are other ingredients, but I can't give all of my secrets away). I had pre-heated the oven to 350'F, and then turned it down to 200'F. I wrapped the rib rack into an sealed, aluminum pouch and place into roasting pan, then into the oven.
Mae a savory rub of salt, pepper, oregano, basil, cumin, and a few secret ingredients, then rubbed the mixure all over the 2nd rib rack. Oh, and of course, I removed the silver skin from both racks. I massaged the dry rub into the ribs rack. The same charcoal was used from the day before, but just a few chunks, enough to produce the level of heat I wanted, and only on one side. The smoking box was filled with hardwood chips and placed on the side of the charcoal pile, to create that required smoke. I put the ribs on the other side, sitting in a kind of aluminum foil bowl, on a rack so that the smoke could engulf every nook and cranny of those ribs. I covered the grill and closed all vent to the half-open position. I made a North Carolina style mop of vinager, honey, water, with a hint of ginger. Every twenty minutes, I mopped the ribs and maintained the fire.
At the four hour mark, I reduced the oven temp to 170'F. The ribs on the barbecue were looking great.
At 5 hours, the meat was removed from the grill and the oven. The corn was then thrown onto the barbecue, and the left-over baked beans were re-heated.
According to Sprout, those were the best ribs she had ever eaten, and it didn't matter which rack she picked from. She eats meat sparingly, but ate so many ribs that she was afraid of having a meat hangover
the next day.
The meat was very juicy and tender, though not fall-off-the-bone tender. And ther rubs created a flavor that didn't overpower the natural good flavor of the pork, but enhanced it. The smoke ring in the meat was delicate so that the smoke didn't overpower the meat either. The flavors were so wonderfully balanced.
From in the pits
in 5 hours.
Lesson learned, know the cooking properties of your fuel before you put expensive steaks over the fuel.
Over all, in spite of the burnt steaks, there was good food and great times had by all. I got to play with the granddaughters, serve then home-made French vanilla ice cream, swirled with home made chocolate/Nutella fudge, and give them those sweet, not very good for you cereal in the little boxes, where they could each pick the one they wanted to eat, and of course, Grandpa's blueberry pancakes, with bacon on the side. I got to goof off with my daughter and SIL. We completed the task of removing the left-over pieces of demolished garage, and now I can order the supplies to build the new one.
Saturday through Tuesday evening was a glorious time, even with burnt steaks.
Oh, and the petty vent, I ruined expensive steaks because I was arrogant enough to think I knew how to cook anything, on anything.
Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North