Belgian White IPA Baby Back Ribs
This Labor Day weekend my wife and I did not opt for traveling as we have most years. No last trip to the beach before summer ends, no trip to the mountains, no bed and breakfast nor an out of town BBQ event of interest. Instead, we had a luxurious weekend of late mornings with freshly pressed coffee, an evening walk in uptown Charlotte to hear some live music and shared a meal of fire roasted baby backs with longtime friends accompanied by a few interesting Belgian style ales and IPAs. Saturday morning, after making a few stops and walking through the oversized refrigerated selection of meat in one of my favorite hunting grounds, The Chef Store
, I picked up a pack of baby back ribs to roast for lunch with friends Sunday. A few rib recipes came to mind, one was from Sara Foster's older book titled Fresh Every Day
in which she bakes ribs in a pan of rosemary, onions and beer covered in foil for a few hours before covering with sauce to finish them off over the direct flame of the fire. Another recipe that came to mind was for simple salt and pepper ribs which I first saw cooked by a friend, Dale McDonald. In this recipe, olive oil and a healthy seasoning of salt and pepper cover the ribs before smoking them indirectly with a fire of hickory wood for about four hours, total naked without a coat of sauce. I decided to combine the best of both recipes. First, I removed the membranes from the back of the ribs with a paring knife and a serving spoon. Next, I laid several racks of ribs in a long foil pan separated by slices of onion. After adding about half of a bottle of Belgian white IPA aptly called Ripetide by Heavy Seas Brewing, I added a few trimmings from our over groan rosemary bush and coating the ribs with salt and pepper before baked for 90 minutes ate 325 degrees covered with foil in the oven.
After the steaming ribs were pulled from the oven, I moved them to roast next to an indirect fire of lump charcoal with remnants of stick of cherry wood from a prior cook over a pan of water to keep the ribs moist.
The ribs roasted in a smoky fog for two more hours at about 200 degrees to reach a nice pink smoke ring color with faint flavor notes of from the rosemary, onion, salt, pepper and Belgian beer. My wife and I had a great weekend with a night of music in uptown, lazy mornings and Belgian White IPA Baby Back Ribs with friends.
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