Since we've gotten the chicks, there's been a little sensitivity to eating chicken in our house. The first night we had the chicks, I had coincidentally soaked some chicken in buttermilk to make fried chicken. Stella was not happy with me pointing out how the chicks would be able to smell the chicken frying and be afraid for their lives. Chris then observed that we could put a deep fryer at the end of their ramp and they could just walk into the fryer like conveyor belt fried chicken. My dad then emailed me and said he would like to eat my chicks, but would instead wait for the first egg. I don't know what the chicks are thinking when Pacino is circling their coop, but I'm guessing they are smart enough to figure out it's not so he can snuggle with them. Despite my talks with Pacino about us all just getting along, how the chicks love him, I love him, if he'd just settle down, he'd be a lot happier, Pacino still gets himself in a lather anytime any attention is shown to the chicks. Surprisingly, it seems they know Pacino cannot and is not allowed to get at them. But I digress, the reason for another pork meal, other than, well, we like pork, is giving the chicks a little reprieve from feeling like prey.
I decided on spare ribs instead of my usual back ribs tonight and a brine versus a dry rub.
For the brine:
4 cups water
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/8 cup kosher salt
Place spare rib rack in a large flat container or zip lock bag and submerge in brine. Place in the refrigerator for about 6 hours.
Without the time for a long day of smoking, and Chris being out of town, I chose to do a quick smoke on the Weber charcoal grill with indirect heat. Soak some wood chips in water, hickory, applewood, or whatever your preference. I used applewood. Light your charcoal in a chimney and once they have greyed on the outside, place them in a pile on one side of the grill. Place the rib rack on the other side, bone side down. Maintain a temperature of 325 in the grill. Sprinkle the wood chips on top of the charcoal and keep the kettle covered for at least 45 minutes without opening the lid to get the full advantage of the smoke.
I had planned to keep the ribs on for a total of 2.5 hours. But then got a text (mid smoke) from Chris that he was going to get home by 8:00, so we waited for him for dinner. It was going to be an extra hour before dinner, so I adjusted the temp of the grill down to about 300 for the next 2.75 hours. They still would not be fall off the bone tender with this cooking time, but hopefully, they would be tender and juicy.
For the last couple of hours, I brushed the ribs with a mop sauce that is a combo of the Fish Sauce Vinaigrette I had left over from the cauliflower the other night and a few other additions.
So, it's something like this:
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice of half lime
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 serrano chili, minced
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp finely chopped peeled ginger
3 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
The ribs were smoky, tender and delicious. Not at all bad for the short smoke time.
Chick update... they are all back together now. Ruby looks healed and un-pecked upon. Pacino got some 'close' time with the chicks and we all lived to tell the tale.