Friday, May 22, 2009

Under Pressure, Part Dos

This morning I asked Paul to go to Kinder's and buy some peppered bacon. Kinder's is on a street nicknamed the Miracle Mile, and has a small meat case. Their bacon is thick sliced and flavorful. Their barbequed chicken quarters are smoky and heavenly. So after I got home from work he called to tell me he'd bought some ribs for us to throw on the grill.

It was a nice little rack, with just seven bones, and meaty. Now as we all know, real bbq is smoked low and slow. For hours. Endlessly. Grilled ribs are tough and not that much fun to eat. We wouldn't be eating real bbq tonight, and tough and stringy sounded bad. Here's what I did.

I haven't cooked ribs in several years, but what I used to do was simmer the ribs in water until they were tender and then throw the on the grill. What blasphemy! I actually got the idea from the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes," where they tended the big pot of meat simmering outside the cafe. I didn't want to leach the flavor of the meat out into the water, so I decided to use my pressure cooker, which doesn't entail submerging your food. My cooker has a steaming plate, so I placed the ribs on top of the plate and added just enought water to cover the plate. So easy! I closed up my cooker, brought it up to high pressure and kept it there for 30 minutes, then utilized the quick release by pressing down on the valve. The ribs were just tender, and one rib bone fell out. You can cook them a little longer if you want, but it's hard to wrestle a rack around on the grill when it's falling apart.

An old friend, Dr. Jack, used to grill his chicken by cooking on layer upon layer of bbq sauce after the pieces were done. Turning every few minutes after laying on the sauce built up loads of flavor. I used that trick with my ribs. I basted both sides with sauce (use your favorite kind) then laid the rack down over indirect heat. I turned it every 4 or 5 minutes, brushing on more sauce, about 6 times. Go wild if you want. I basically stopped when the rest of dinner was ready.

Now, is this method as good as ribs smoked for 12 hours or more? What a silly question! No way, now how! But they were tasty and if you have a pressure cooker the process is a snap!