Monday, March 26, 2012

America's Best Ribs - Ardie A. Davis & Chef Paul Kirk

Released May 2012

Ardie A. Davis
Chef Paul Kirk
Andrews McMeel Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Ardie Davis, founder of the American Royal International BBQ championship, and Chef Paul Kirk, known as the Kansas City Baron of Barbecue, pair up to bring a selection of the country's best rib rubs, sauces, and recipes. America's Best Ribs showcases more than the recipes, however, it also offers a huge variety of tips, stories, and ever mistakes some people make when barbecuing ribs in professional contests. There are also recipes for sides and desserts to serve with your succulent ribs.

America's Best Ribs is broken down into essential sections that include:
  • Rib Basics
  • Pork Ribs
  • Beef & Bison Ribs
  • Lamb & Mutton Ribs
  • Sides
  • Desserts
  • Resources
  • Metric Conversions and Equivalents
 Before diving into the recipes, the cookbook starts with one of the things I feel is most important. Choosing your ingredients. They discuss the one thing that not every cookbook covers, bring your meat to room temperature before you start grilling. People have heard so often that meats must be properly chilled to prevent bacteria that I go into many restaurants where meats are thrown on the grill straight out of the refrigerator and that affects the end product.

There are recipes for dry rubs, mops, brines, and marinades. My family happens to prefer a dry rub, but it all comes down to preference in the end. There are so many recipes in this book that I have this long list prepared for the summer. One that really stood out has a distinct Asian flare with sake, plum sauce, hoisin, oyster sauce, and five spice seasoning forming the key components of the marinade. There are classic recipes that caught my eye too.  Another one that topped my list was a New England Maple-Brined Smoked Pork Rib Roast. I live in Vermont, so maple syrup is a must-have in my home, though for those seeking it this year, the warmer winter and hot spell in March cut the boiling season short and prices are going to be much higher than usual.

All in all, if you love to grill and love ribs America's Best Ribs is an essential component to your summer plans. We had our grill fired up last week with the burst of 80 degree weather. While we didn't make ribs, we did use some of the classic spice rubs and BBQ sauces to do a slow roasted pork butt for pulled pork sandwiches. The recipes we tested worked well and were incredibly tasty.

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