While you can find great barbecue in backyards and BBQ joints across the country, it’s the South that has defined our shared outdoor cooking culture for generations. In All Fired Up: Smokin’ Hot BBQ Secrets from the South’s Best Pitmasters (Oxmoor House 2013), award-winning pitmaster Troy Black and the editors of Southern Living travel from Texas to Alabama and everywhere in between to offer up recipes that define this rich barbecue region.
Among the 175 recipes shared in this story and photo rich cookbook is Black’s twist on Texas beef ribs featuring a glaze made of sorghum syrup, a popular Southern sweetener that comes from sweet sorghum grass and can most be compared to molasses.
BEEF RIBS WITH SORGHUM GLAZE
4 (21⁄2-lb.) racks beef rib-back ribs (center cut)
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup kosher salt
2 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1⁄2 tsp. ground red pepper
1 cup sorghum syrup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper
4 cups wood chips
1. Rinse and pat ribs dry. If desired, remove thin membrane from back of ribs by slicing into it and pulling it off. Combine sugar and next 6 ingredients. Massage sugar mixture into meat, covering all sides. Wrap ribs tightly with plastic wrap, and place in zip-top plastic freezer bags; seal and chill 12 hours.
2. Whisk together sorghum and next 2 ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half. Cool completely.
3. Soak chips in water 30 minutes. Light 1 side of grill, heating to 250° to 300° (low) heat; leave other side unlit. Spread wood chips on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil; fold edges to seal. Poke several holes in top of pouch with a fork. Place pouch directly on lit side of grill; cover with grill lid.
4. Place ribs over unlit side, and grill, covered with grill lid, 2 hours. Turn rib slabs over; grill 2 hours or until tender. Cook ribs 30 more minutes, basting frequently with sorghum mixture.
5. Remove ribs from grill, and let stand 10 minutes. Cut ribs, slicing between bones.