I love Canada. This beautiful amazing country to our north is home to my favorite rock band, Rush. My favorite Starfleet Captain, William Shatner, and my favorite griller, Ted Reader. Speaking of Ted, let me tell you. Ted is a machine. His recipes are long, detailed and delicious. Not only does he know his way around the grill, he knows it around the bar too. In my book, that's double points. However, if you are looking for a simple midweek, unplanned meal, look away. Ted's grill creations take time and planning. To me this is no problem. I'll make the time for fabulous.
As I flipped through Ted's King of the Q's Blue Plate BBQ, I happened upon a recipe I had not seen before. I was immediately drawn to it. I had to make it. Although I did have to deviate from his blueprint, the awesome essence that is his Ribs with Wasabi Balsamic Glaze shown through. I don't need ribs dripped in BBQ sauce and when I taste something sweet, hot and wonderfully good as these, I know why. Up for some rib experimentation? Then please dear reader, read on.
Baby Back Ribs with Wasabi Balsamic Glaze
Somewhat based on Ted Reader's Bison Ribs with Wasabi Balsamic Glaze
1 rack baby back pork ribs
4 T red curry paste
1 t kosher salt
1 t cracked black pepper
1 t cracked white pepper
1 t mustard seeds
1 t coriander
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t dill seeds
1 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 T softened butter
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup apple jelly
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 T soy sauce
1 T prepared horseradish
3 t wasabi paste
1 t cracked pepper
Prep your grill for indirect medium heat.
In a medium sized pan over medium-high heat, bring the vinegar to a boil. Once there, allow to boil for several minutes then turn the heat down and simmer unit reduced by half. (For the record, I have no idea what a 3/4 cup of hot balsamic vinegar looks like, so I keep a Pyrex measuring cup handy and pour the vinegar back and forth until it is level with the 3/4 cup line. That, I can read.) Once reduced, remove from the heat and set aside.
In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Then, add the onion and garlic. Sauté until tender, approximately 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the remaining ingredients. Add the salt to taste.
Add the reduced vinegar and bring the mixture back to a boil. Stir constantly. Once the sauce is think enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and cool.
With a sharp knife, remove the membrane from the ribs. Next, rub the ribs with curry paste. Yes, you read right. Curry paste. How does Ted think of this stuff…I love it.
Next, sprinkle all sides with the rub.
Be sure to work the rub into the meat so it sticks. I like my rub on the meat, not left over in the pan.
Move the ribs to the grill and grill indirect. Plan on about a 3 hour cook.
A good signal of "done" is when the meat begins to pull back from the bone.
During the last 20 minutes, baste the ribs repeatedly with the wasabi balsamic glaze.
For a side, I went with the never fail vegetable grill basket. There really is nothing better. Although it probably deserves a post of its own, the cliff notes version is to jam pack sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, rutabaga, rosemary, garlic and olive oil in a grill basket. Put it on direct low for about 90 minutes with the occasional stir and voila, an instant grill kissed side of veg. Lovely.
For a beer, nothing else goes with BBQ better than something with big bold flavor. In this case, "big bold flavor" is Stone Brewing Company's Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers.
The spicy smokey finish is truly amazing. If you can grab this at your local purveyor, I highly, highly recommend it. It's one of my favorites.
So, with the ribs glazed, the vegetables grilled and the beer poured, dinner is served.
I could on about Ted's glaze all day, but hopefully you can find out for yourself. It's brilliant. It is also one more reason why ribs can be so much more than smoke and sauce. They are a canvas for almost any idea, especially ones from the Great White North. I wonder what Neil Peart would grill….