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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Poobah Rib Sandwich

The McRib, modern cultures ridiculous take on the idea of a rib sandwich. Why would anyone think a bunch of formed pork trimmings could stand in for real ribs in any guise. But, what to do with the craving for a rib sandwich? How would one go about making a rib sandwich. Well, presented with this question, Phil Rizzardi, founder and owner of The BBQ Brethren, one of the most popular BBQ and outdoor cooking forums on the 'net decided it was easiest to just slap a rack into a loaf of bread. While this is clearly a good idea, here is my riff, in honor of Phil.

I purchased a rack of baby back ribs, I prefer quality pork so these were selected at my local butcher shop, I was greatly encouraged as when he picked up the rack, it bent in half forming a upside down U. How much easier is it to make tender ribs when starting with tender ribs?
These were given a little prep work, essentially just removing the membrane and washing them off. Then a rub was applied, I went with Simply Marvelous Cherry Rub spread on twice, one an hour before the other, the second application happening just before going onto the kettle. I did grind on some additional Phu Quoc black pepper as well, it just adds a nice punch to everything.
From here, onto the kettle with chunks of peach wood, cooking at 220F initially and ramping up to 250F over about two hours or so. It was then removed and plopped onto some foil. Yep, I foiled my ribs, competition style, which is not something I normally do. But, since this was for Phil, and he loves his competition BBQ, foil it would be.
On the other hand, I am eating them, so I added some coconut palm syrup, some more rub and freshly ground pepper and some Red Boat Fish Sauce and Lucky Dog hot sauce to the foil. The ribs went meat down onto the foil, was wrapped and put back on the cooker for about 45 minutes. Here is came off the kettle after another 45 minutes un-foiled. These looked and smelled great. Initial samples verified that the meat was very tender, the surface was very balanced between sugar, salt, savory and smoke.

Beautiful pink color in that sliced meat, with excellent texture and a pull from the bone texture. I really think anyone would be happy with these ribs, just enough pull to come clean with a slight tug, melt in your mouth texture. Here is the section of the rib slab I selected for dinner, I truly think I could compete with these, but, boned and placed on bread, this was going to be a good dinner.
I added some hand sliced apple cabbage slaw to top off the sandwich and clean up the diet by claiming I had veggies with dinner. The slaw was left pretty crunchy and basically seasoned with Phu Quoc black pepper.
I give you the Grand Poobah Ban Me sandwich. (sorry, had to taunt the mods a little here)
This sandwich really did have a great flavor with a nice smooth smoke and very balanced flavor and texture.


  1. That's a great version of the sandwich!

  2. Thanks guys, it was fun and tasted great.

  3. That glaze looks perfect in color and texture, it's very eye catching. I've used coconut sugar in rubs so I thought the palm syrup was a very nice touch.

  4. Thanks for the kudos. It is an interesting ingredient. It does caramelize fast,so I think I will keep working with it considering that fact.

  5. It sounds great, as usual with your meat rubs. But by "boned", do you mean the bones were taken out of left in the sandwich? Was there some cartilage too? :D

  6. It means I removed the bones, as I find the sandwich with bones is a bother to eat. I left the connective tissue, but, there is no cartilage.

  7. Yep, you knocked that out of the park. Why aren't you coming up to Tahoe to do an encore?

  8. Because I am picking up my sister and her family at the airport on Saturday and they will be staying until Sunday afternoon.