Pitmaster Melissa Cookston, the winningest woman in bbq, and Betony executive chef Bryce Shuman share tips with Fox News Radio’s Lilian Woo for making this Father’s Day cookout a hit.
Take a LISTEN:
Follow Lilian Woo on Twitter: @LilianNY
Sunday Potato Salad
Serves 4 to 6
Mention potato salad anywhere in the South, and you’ll start a fight just about as quickly as if you talk about how much better your barbecue is than your neighbor’s. All southerners think the way their mama made potato salad is the only way to make it. Well, I don’t know your mama, but if she had tried this recipe you would have grown up eating it this way! I like to leave the skin on, but it’s perfectly acceptable to peel the potatoes if you want.
Ranch Seasoning Mix
¼ cup dried buttermilk
1 teaspoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1½ teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 pounds red potatoes, peeled or not, cut into eighths
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup milk
1 bunch scallions, green parts only, diced
1 cup chopped crisp-cooked bacon, from about ½ pound Makin’ Bacon (page 66) or your favorite brand
Combine all the ingredients for the ranch seasoning mix in a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Place the potatoes on a cutting board, then cut in half. Cut each half into four pieces, trying to keep the sizes as uniform as possible. Place the potato pieces in a large stockpot with water to cover, bring to a boil, and cook until soft but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Remove and drain. Allow to cool to room temperature, then place in large bowl. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, scallions, bacon bits, and seasoning mix and fold with a spatula until well mixed. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
From Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room: Southern Recipes from the Winningest Woman in Barbecue by Melissa Cookston / Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC 2014
Competition Pork Baby Back Ribs
Serves 2 to 4, depending on whether they’re linemen or cheerleaders
I’m known in the media and among competitors as a whole-hog cook, and I’ve been very fortunate with whole hogs in contests. However, I’ve won a lot more contests with my baby back ribs. This recipe won first place in eight contests in a row—a pretty mean feat! These ribs have a full flavor profile: a little sweet, some acid, a little salt, and just enough heat on the back of your palate to make you want another bite. Save the bones and meat trimmings for making stock (page 18).
2 slabs baby back ribs, about 3 pounds each (see Note, page 32)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Ultimate BBQ Rub (page 14)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons turbinado sugar
4 tablespoons purple grape juice
About ½ cup Sweet Glaze (page 21)
Chipotle chile powder, for sprinkling
Rinse the ribs and remove the membrane from the back. Trim any excess fat from the tops of the slabs. Trim 1 bone from the large end of the ribs and 2 bones from the small end. This will give you a much more consistent slab for cooking.
Starting on the backs, sprinkle the ribs with approximately 1½ teaspoons of rub each, then add 1½ teaspoons mustard each and massage into the meat. Flip the ribs over and repeat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. For a contest, I marinate ribs like this for 12 to 16 hours.
Prepare a smoker to cook at 225°F with around 4 chunks of apple wood and 4 chunks of cherry wood so that the wood will smolder throughout the cooking. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator, unwrap, and repeat the rub and mustard procedure, massaging them in. Don’t get it too thick or pastelike, as this will give you a dark appearance when cooked.
Place the ribs in the smoker meat side up and cook for 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the smoker and increase the temperature to 250°F. Apply rub and mustard to both sides of the ribs as before. On each of the top sides, slather approximately 1 tablespoon of honey over the surface, then sprinkle heavily with about 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar each. Lay the ribs meat side down on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold up the edges. Pour 2 tablespoons of purple grape juice into the bottom of the foil for each rib then finish wrapping the ribs, but don’t crimp the edges—you want steam to be able to escape.
Return the ribs to the cooker for 2 hours, then test for tenderness. (I cook ribs at this stage until they look overdone and too tender. Don’t worry; they’ll tighten up. If they still have too much texture, leave them in for 20 to 30 more minutes.) Remove the ribs from the cooker, open the foil, and drain off the liquid. Brush sauce on the bone side of the ribs. Then, using the foil as a tool, “roll” the ribs over so the meat side is up and glaze the tops. Using long tongs, carefully remove the ribs from the foil and place them back in the smoker for 15 minutes. This will let the glaze cook onto the ribs and let the ribs tighten back up. Remove from the cooker and allow to rest for 5 minutes, apply a very thin coat of glaze to “glisten” the ribs, then very lightly sprinkle with chipotle powder before serving.
From Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room: Southern Recipes from the Winningest Woman in Barbecue by Melissa Cookston / Andrews McMeel Publishing, LCC 2014