These massive slabs of beef ribs start out with a flavour-packed spice rub and are then mopped with a sauce which includes beer and maple syrup. I wanted to make something that was a tip of the cap to the Great White North, so—obviously—I began with picking up a case of Molson Canadian. Outstandingly delicious and…mission accomplished, eh?
Adapted from Shelburne Farms
Serves: 4 to 6
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon mustard powder
3 packed tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon smoked sweet Spanish paprika
4 pounds beef ribs
1/2 cup beer
1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup*
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
* – Grade A syrup is your standard table-top variety. Grade B Maple Syrup is suited more for cooking and has a more intense maple flavour for this purpose.
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic powder, salt, mustard powder, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the paprika. Set aside about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the rub, and rub the rest over both sides of the ribs. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. With the beefier side down, wrap each rack of ribs in foil like a package. Place them on a rimmed cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan. Cook until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours.
Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and increase the temperature to 450 degrees F with a rack in the second highest position. Unwrap the ribs carefully, pour off any accumulated fat/drippings, and replace the ribs on the foil in the pan.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the beer, maple syrup, and cider vinegar. Using a basting brush, mop both sides of the ribs well with the mixture, finishing with the beefier side up. Reserve the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle the reserved spice rub over the beefier side of the ribs and cook them in the oven for about 10 minutes until glazed and crusty.
While the ribs are finishing, whisk the remaining 1 teaspoon of paprika and the ketchup into the reserved sauce. Simmer it over Medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes until slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Cut the ribs to separate them once removed from the oven, and brush liberally with the sauce.
Nestled between the California mountains and the Pacific Ocean with pleasant weather year-round, Santa Barbara is as appealing a destination as you can find. While droves of tourists flock to this region for its wineries and vineyards, a quiet revolution is taking hold in wine country. Popping up throughout the Santa Barbara region some formidable microbreweries have been building a loyal falling of beer aficionados throughout the state.
Stretching between Bethel to the south and Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley to the north, Santa Barbara is making itself known for a lot more than just wine - The areas breweries have much to boast about. With nearly a dozen microbreweries within striking distance beer lovers should be circling this region as a must-visit on their map.
Of interest, the first thing you'll notice when visiting any brewery in the region is just how much Californians love their hoppy India Pale Ales (IPAs). A majority of the locally brewed beverages would be classified as IPAs with most definitely leaning to the bitter side of the scale. Some have even adapted the IPA brewing process with local ingredients and dubbed the California Pale Ale. However, each brewery takes its own slight interpretation on this theme and their are plenty of other selections to choose from if IPAs are not your thing.
With the Pacific Coast Highway tracing the shoreline before curling up into the Santa Ynez hills, the picturesque route linking all of the breweries is one you'll love travelling nearly as much as the beer you'll be sampling.
There are few places I feel as comfortable as I do in front of a grill. It's what I know. It's what I do well. It's just me and the fire and the meat. It's this passion for grilling that lead me down the culinary path I've been on for the past 20 years or so. Sure I cook recipes in the kitchen all the time, but it's outside with tongs in hand that I'm cosmically happy.
It's not done until it's 71. Beef doneness can only be measured one way: internal temperature. It can be as scorched on the outside as a lump of charcoal, if it's not 71 inside, it's not ready to eat.
Do not buy prepackaged burgers! They are overly processed, frequently frozen, and often contain additives to increase their shelf life.
Purchase ground beef. You probably do not want the leanest selection available at the butcher or your hamburgers are going to dry out. I like grabbing the medium ground beef which refers to the fat content (about 20%).
Keep it simple. I let the great flavour of the meat speak for itself and then spend my time worrying about toppings and fixings. Also, binders (e.g. egg) and fillers (e.g. breadcrumbs) are not needed. Trust me.
With damp hands, take a handful of beef (about 1/3 pound) and using your hands lightly form into a pattie. Do not over-handle, do not over-press. Once you’re satisfied with the shape, use your thumbs to make a slight dimple in the middle of the hamburger. This will keep your hamburgers from swelling up and resembling meatballs instead of patties.
Continue forming the hamburgers and place them on a platter. Once done, season with salt and pepper. That’s it.
When you’re ready to grill your hamburgers, warm your grill up between Medium-High and High. Place the hamburgers on the grill and close it up. We’re going to leave the lid down to (a) keep the heat high to cook the hamburgers and (b) to limit oxygen and thus avoid flare-ups. If you see a lot of smoke suddenly pouring out, you likely have a flare up. Open the grill, move any hamburgers with flames licking at them to another spot and close the grill back up.
Aim to turn our hamburgers once and once only. They’re going to be ready to turn when you can see browning creeping up towards the top side of the burgers and the top has turned a nice bright red. If you’ve waited long enough, the hamburgers will not stick and will not fall apart when you go to turn them. Depending on your grill, your burgers will probably cook about 4 minutes per side. Do not cut them in half to check doneness, or press them down with your spatula to flatten them, you will lose far too much moisture.
That’s it, voila! You forgot how simple and delicious homemade hamburgers taste, didn’t you? And you’ll likely never purchase the prepackaged/frozen variety again.
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