Sunday, August 5, 2012

Secrets I Cannot Reveal

I've mentioned that Big Troy (Troy Fox), a barbecue expert, before (here and here), and had the good fortune to run into him downtown last Friday evening during the First Friday Art Walk in downtown Bend while he was setting up his barbecue trailer in the alley between Minnesota and Oregon between Bond and Wall Streets. 

"Troy," I said, "I've made some pretty good ribs," (see: here , and here), "but I have never been able to cook ribs that fall off the bones."

Troy set down a 14-lb sack of mesquite charcoal and asked how are you doing it. 

I described my method of slow-cooking the ribs over a cool fire or in a cool oven for hours, mopping (glazing) them every 30 minutes then finishing on a hot fire.

He listened, nodding in all the right places, then laid it out for me. Step-by-step. Big Troy, with discursage into barbecue arcanea, explained how to get ribs that fall off the bone and invite another bite. 

Trade secrets, he told me, insider tricks learned from other barbecue chefs (carbonated soft drinks are involved), learned from chefs at some of Bend's restaurants, things that only barbecue geeks talk about.

What I learned, I cannot pass on. My limps are sealt. 

But everything I had been doing was wrong. 

Today I applied what I learned and I made the most delicious lip-smackin' chewy and soft ribs I've ever made. The texture I've been looking for, with a depth of flavor that I've never achieved before. My seasoning was off: too many hours brining led to an overly-salted taste, but I can adjust. 

A-and, doing ribs this way is much easier than I had been doing before. 

1 comment:

  1. Ribs aren't supposed to "fall off the bone", and besides, you can only get that by cheatin'. Why in the hell do you want mushy ribs anyway? They're supposed to have a bit of 'bite' to them.


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