Memphis meets Montego Bay in this rib recipe, a takeoff on Jamaican jerk. To make it, I replace the traditional wet jerk seasoning with a dry rub made with Jamaican spices. The method-applying the rub in two stages, once before cooking, once before serving-is Memphis barbecue at its best. The Scotch bonnet chile and its cousin, the habanero pepper, are two of the world’s hottest chiles, so don’t use more of the powder than you mean to. Neophytes should make the rub with two teaspoons of the powder. Masochists can use the whole two tablespoons.
5 hours for marinating the ribs
1 ½ Cups wood chips or chunks (preferably oak or hickory), soak for 1 hour in cold water to cover and grain
For the Ribs
2 rack baby back pork ribs (4 to 5 pounds total)
2 cups dark rum
For the Dry Jerk Seasoning
2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons Scotch bonnet or habanero chile powder (see Note)
2 tablespoons freeze-dried chives
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon dried garlic flakes
1 tablespoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Prepare the ribs: Remove the thin, papery skin from the back if each rack of ribs by pulling it off in a sheet with your fingers, using one corner of a kitchen towel to gain a secure grip, or with pliers. Place the ribs in a nonreactive roasting pan and pour the rum over them, turning the ribs to coat completely. Let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 4 hours, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, make the dry jerk seasoning: Combine the chile powder, chives, onion flakes, garlic flakes, salt, coriander, ginger, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a spice mill or blender and grind to a fine powder.
- Drain the ribs and blot dry with paper towels. Rub half of the jerk mixture over the ribs on both sides. Let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 hour.
- Set up the grill for indirect grilling and place a large drip pan in the center
If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box and preheat the grill to high; when smoke appears reduce the heat to medium.
If using a charcoal frill, preheat it to medium.
- When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss the wood chips on the coals. Arrange the ribs on the hot grate over the drip pan. Cover the grill and smoke cook the ribs until the meat is very tender and had shrunk back from the ends of the bones, 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add 10 to 12 fresh coals to each side after 1 hour.
- Transfer the ribs to a platter and season them with the remaining dry jerk seasoning, sprinkling it on. Serve at once.
Note: If Scotch bonnet or habanero chile powder sounds too incendiary, you can use your favorite hot chili powder. The flavor won’t be quite as authentic, but the ribs will still taste killer.
Article taken from
"Barbecue Bible" By Steven Raichlen
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