Today, I decided to try something I have seen in Chinese meat shops, but, that I have never tried. So I prepared some char-siu marinade and prepared a rack of ribs for the kettle. I started with an untrimmed, natural rack of spareribs, trimmed the flap, removed the membrane and trimmed the excesss meat and fat, the goal being what I know as a modified St. Louis rack. I left the rib tips on, as I did not intend to share this rack, so no need to create the rib tips for a cook's sampler. Here is the rack.
You can see the shape of the modified St. Louis cut and the spoils which will become chorizo soon. I prepared the marinade per the recipe here (Linky) with the modification that I did not have ketchup, so I went with some BBQ sauce. The ribs were allowed to marinate for 4 hours, I would have like to let it go longer, but, I did not have my act together early this morning. Here is the rack fresh from the zipper sealing bag.
Meanwhile, I fired up the kettle and got a fire going, charcoal and a couple small hunks of cherry wood for smoke. I got the kettle up to 300F, put the ribs in and adjusted everything to get it to smoke along at 300F, shortly after placing the ribs, the rain really came on and the temps settled in at a nice 250F within 30 minutes of the ribs going on. The ribs were allowed to cook for 3 hours unmolested, the temps held steady during that time. At the 3 hour mark, I gave the ribs a brush top and bottom with some glaze, essentially the same recipe as the marinade, but with some honey added. This was allowed to go another 30 minutes, glazed again and allowed to finish at 4 hours. Here is the rack fresh from the smoker.
There was not a lot of pull-back, but, the ribs looked terrific and the meat was soft to the probe and the correct temperature, so off it came, a quick 10 minute rest and time to chop and eat.
And ready for it's close-up, look at them shiny juicy ribs. The pink color tells me that the marinade time was adequate, there is no really visible smoke ring, I chalk that up to the marinade penetration and color. The ribs were juicy and tender, with a great char-siu flavor that I was hoping for. The one thing I think I would do differently is up the smoke wood, as it was too subtle for this recipe.
Tonight's beverage which was quaffed prior to eating, the cook had to have something to tide him over, was a can of Monk's Blood Belgian Abbey style ale. This was a very nice, somewhat more subtle flavored version of a Belgian Abbey than I am used to, but, was a nice snack prior to dinner.