Chef Tracey just made these for Father’s Day and they were crazy good, so I hit her up for her insider tips to pass on and she flat out gave me her recipes. So if you’re responsible for the food on the Fourth, here goes …
Chef Tracey’s BBQ Baby Back Ribs
It’s all about getting them to be moist and fall off the bone. In the south (where Chef Tracey has cooked), the classic way to prepare ribs is to boil them and then finish them in a smoker. She thinks it’s easier and more flavorful, though, to use a dry rub and then wrap them tightly in foil and put them in a 250 degree oven for 4-5 hours. The beautiful thing about this is it can be done a day or two ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve, you finish the ribs by slathering them in your favorite BBQ sauce and putting them on a hot grill for 8 minutes or so until they’re bubbly and ready to eat. Ingredients for the dry rub: 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 sugar, 3T each: chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, 1T smoked paprika, 1t ground mustard.
Chef Tracey’s Red Bliss Potato Salad
Serve up the ribs with this on the side …
Boil 1 lb Red Bliss potatoes (tip … 1T of salt & 1t sugar in the water will keep the potato peels bright red). Let cool to room temperature then cut to desired size. Add 4 hard boiled eggs (cut to desired size), 1/2 C diced celery, 2 chopped shallots, 2T snipped chives, 2T chopped dill. For the dressing, mix 1/2 C mayo, 1T Dijon mustard, 1T whole grain mustard, 1t celery salt, 1t apple cider vinegar. Add to potato mixture and serve.
Wine & Beer Pairings:
There are three ways to go with BBQ ribs …
1 – Beer (tried and true … can’t go wrong) We suggest a pilsner as its tartness offsets the sweetness of the ribs beautifully. Germans are the masters. Try Radeberger Pilsner ($4/case $3.20) from Dresden, in the southeast corner of Germany near the Polish/Czech borders. The Czech’s would argue theirs is better and they might be right. Try Lev Lion Lager ($4/case $3.20).
2 – Rosé A wonderfully refreshing summer drink and it’s amazingly flexible with regard to food pairing. The cold, fruity, pleasant acidity of this festive drink goes well with everything from salads, to chicken to grilled meats, and it can even handle the spicy sweetness of BBQ sauce. Try Domaine Saint Roch Les Vignes 2008 Rosé $16 (Provence) or if you’d like something local, try Saviah Cellars 2008 Rosé $14, Walla Walla rosé from Sangiovese.
3 – Zinfanel If you’re hankering for a bigger red, Zinfanel — with it’s big dark fruit (blackberry, boysenberry, black cherry) flavors with hints of licorice, cinnamon & black pepper — hand hold it’s own against the sauce. Try Easton 2007 Zinfandel $17/case $13.60 (Wine Enthusiast 90 points). It’s a great wine for the price especially if you’re serving a crowd.
Happy 4th of July!