Mike Mills' Beef Ribs

Recipe courtesy Mike Mills
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 55 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 1 hr 30 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 8 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 4 (2 1/4 to 2 1/2-pound) racks center cut beef ribs
  • 3 to 4 cups apple wood chips (you can use hickory, pecan, sweet maple, or cherry, but it won't taste as sweet)
  • Magic Dust dry rub, recipe follows
  • Apple City Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows
  • 4 cups apple juice in a spray bottle
MAGIC DUST:
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered mustard
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
APPLE CITY BARBEQUE SAUCE:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/3 cup bacon bits, ground in a spice grinder
  • 1/3 cup peeled and grated apple
  • 1/3 cup grated onion
  • 2 teaspoons grated green bell pepper
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Directions

Prepping the meat: There is a skin-like membrane on the back of the ribs. The easiest way to remove it is to start in the middle of the rack and work a table knife or a screwdriver underneath the skin, going all the way across and teasing it up. Slide your forefinger in there and bring your thumb across, holding the rib down and pulling the membrane straight up. It'll peel from the middle.

Once you start cooking the ribs, you can't leave the pit or grill unattended for any more than about 20 minutes. You'll need to continually check that the temperature remains between 250 and 275 degrees F at all times in the grill. If it gets too hot, shut the top and bottom drafts to smother the fire. If some of the coals appear to be glowing red, that will cause a hot spot. Don't cook the ribs directly over the hot spot, move them to a different, cooler, part of the grill. If the temperature dips too low, move the ribs to a hot spot for a while and add some hot coals.

Sprinkle ribs liberally with Magic Dust, coating both sides. Put them in a shallow pan or on a cookie sheet and cover them with clear plastic wrap or a lid. Refrigerate them until you're ready to use them. I recommend letting them marinate for at least 1 hour. At the restaurant we dust the ribs up to a day in advance.

Place ribs on grill and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. About 10 minutes before you remove the ribs from the grill, mop them with sauce. When you take them off the grill, mop again with sauce and sprinkle some more Magic Dust on them. Serve immediately. Serves 4 very hungry people or you can cut the rack in half to
serve 6 to 8 people who have a regular appetite.

Mix all ingredients and store in a tightly covered container. You'll want to keep some in a shaker next to the smoker, grill, or stove. Keeps indefinitely but won't last long.

Yeild: about 2 1/2 cups

Combine the ketchup, rice vinegar, apple juice or cider, cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, white pepper, cayenne, and bacon bits in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the apple, onion, and bell pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Stir it often. Allow to cool, then pour into sterilized glass bottles. A clean glass jar that used to contain mayonnaise or juice works real well. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Variation: To make this sauce a little hotter, add more cayenne pepper to taste, approximately another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. Be careful; a little cayenne goes a long way.

(c) 2005 Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe

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