The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Pork

Tue Sep 1, 2015

Apricot-Glazed Barbecue Ribs

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Apricot-glazed Ribs

Ever since taking up competition barbecue, I've become obsessed with finding a way to make the most consistently perfect slow-smoked pork ribs that can elicit awards from faceless judges. In the process, my rib method has grown to include all sorts of meticulous steps, like wrapping the ribs in foil at just the right time, adding a braising liquid to get them perfectly tender, and monitoring the temperature more closely than doctors keeping tabs on patient's vitals in the ICU.

The resulting competition ribs have earned me a few trophies, but they're honestly not the kind I love most. You see, I'd rather use a simpler method and push the flavor with additional spices and heat, but that can be risky in a competition setting, since I don't want to take that chance on judges with sensitive palates.

So at the beginning of last summer, I decided it was time to get back to my barbecue roots and smoke up some racks of ribs using a less intensive method, instead focusing on hitting those bolder flavors that can make barbecue so incredible. Of course, going with my standard sauce and rub would have been a little too easy on me, so I came up with a new apricot barbecue sauce and complementary rub to make these glistening beauties extra special.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015

Orange and Leek Loukaniko

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Loukaniko

One thing I'm missing from my old base of Astoria, Queens is all the great loukaniko. Now strictly speaking, loukaniko is a Greek term for pork sausage, but it most commonly refers to orange-spiced sausages, for which every restaurant in the neighborhood seems to have its own unique recipe. These variations span a spectrum of seasonings like fennel, coriander, oregano, thyme, and marjoram; some are made from pork, others lamb, and still others, a combination of the two. You'll find loukanika either fresh or cured, partially dried, or even, occasionally, smoked. But one common thread between all their magnificent iterations is that they're almost always grilled, usually until they develop a nicely charred, crispy casing.

With so many top-notch loukaniko choices around every corner, I never saw much point to making my own. But eventually, inspiration struck, and I became determined to make a sausage that would capture my favorite traits of the very best loukaniko sausages in Astoria. To kick things off, I took some cues from cook and writer Hank Shaw to get me started on the right path.

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Tue Aug 4, 2015

Sheftalia (Cypriot Sausages)

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Sheftalia

I love making sausages. Or rather, I've loved making sausages ever since I made the upgrade from my KitchenAid sausage stuffer to a true vertical stuffer—one that transforms sausage-stuffing into a simple, almost effortless chore. I've created a lot of sausage recipes and over the years my links have only improved. As much as I hope those beautiful images of chorizo, merguez, and tomato and basil chicken sausages will influence others to try their hands at sausage making, I know the investment in both time and expense is likely more than the average home cook can or will take on. I always finish with a disclaimer that all my sausage recipes can be formed into patties rather than stuffed, but let's face it: an uncased sausage just isn't the same.

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Tue Jun 2, 2015

Memphis-Style Dry Ribs

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Memphis Dry-rubbed Ribs

Back in the day, I'd call pretty much any rib I didn't slather with sauce, "dry ribs." Not only were they indeed dry, but they looked and tasted like the dry ribs I've always been served at restaurants. It wasn't until I had some excellent dry ribs at Peg Leg Porker, down in Nashville, that I understood just what I'd been missing. So I got to talking to pitmaster Carey Bringle about what sets his ribs apart from the crowd.

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Tue Apr 14, 2015

Carne Enchilada Torta

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Carne Enchilada Torta

A while back, my buddy James invited me to help him eat through almost every torta at Tortas Neza in Corona, Queens for a video he was making. I had read odes to the overstuffed tortas made by Galdino Molinero out of his truck that resides under the elevated 7 train at the corner of Roosevelt and 111th, but never tried them, so was only too happy to oblige. There wasn't a low point in the 10 or so sandwiches we ate that day, but a few really haunted my dreams like Tortas Monarcas (carnitas) and Tortas Regias (carne enchilada). The later stuck with me due its profoundly spicy meat that was at the same time crisp and tender, having a saucy, caramelized, and charred exterior that coated slices of pork that were nice and juicy. It was something I wished I could have in my life more often, so attempted a version of it at my grill.

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