Dry ribs vs wet ribs is a big argument in barbecue. The winner of the debate (if there can really be ANY loser when it comes to eating BBQ ribs) is – without a doubt – The RENDEZVOUS.
Memphis Tennessee is the home of the blues – some say the birthplace of rock n’ roll, Beale Street, Graceland – Sun Studios and The Peabody Hotel (love the Ducks). And if you traveling are looking for the world’s best BBQ you can surely find contenders in this great southern city. In fact, down one aromatic alleyway is where You can find what some BBQ say are the worlds best Memphis dry rub ribs (or Memphis style dry ribs). Dry and savory – still juicy – with seasonings on top and a puddle of vinegar below.
Walk down this dark (just slightly scary) alleyway – just down from the elegant Peabody Hotel and Union Ave. and you’ll discover the world-famous Rendezvous… The mother church of dry ribs. Legendary Charcoal ribs they say. Watch Video of our Rendezvous
It’s certainly not fancy fare but definitely World class. You can smell the charcoal BBQ smoke as you enter the dark entrance down age old steps to the historic Rendezvous basement… There is not unusual to find people taking cell phone photos of their food and getting messy (you can eat up stairs too but make sure you take a peek at the history below).
One look inside you can see bow tied waiters with white shirts bow ties – the same waiters that have likeley work the room for decades -some over 40 years – and on the walls is memorabilia about visits from presidents and performers alike ranging from George Bush to… Elvis and even Jerry Lee Lewis.
Charlie “Mr. Downtown” Vergos opened this place in 1948. Sadly he passed in 2010 but some of the traditions in the restaurant and even menu items he’s menu items seem to remain today. The house appetizer is still a sausage and cheese platter.
The Rendezvous barbecue trick is roasting the slabs of ribs one to two feet directly over high heat from hardwood charcoal… For about an hour or 30 minutes per side… Then mopped with a light vinegar sauce and coated with a dusting of spices. It’s called rendezvous “seasoning” not “rub” because it’s sprinkled on not rubbed in…
The seasoning is paprika based but also features whole celery seed, yellow mustard seeds allspice and coriander too – get the detailed recipe at BarbecueTricks.com search rendezvous
The now coveted dry spices were influenced by Greek roots made its way to the ribs that we are for fire roasted over a charcoal shoot
And they go through a ton of ribs- One of the benefits of going to the restaurant in person he’s being able to see the magic happen in the hustle and bustle of the smoky open kitchen… ribs are tossed on bone side down to protect the meat – Charcoal broiled over high heat in a retrofitted coal chute. The fuel source is famous… 100% hardwood charcoal… flipped after about 30 minutes and constantly mop with a mixture of vinegar and spices in the end they get a good coating of rendezvous seasoning that sprinkled on not rubbed in… Featuring lots of Paprika some coriander Greek influences but less salt than you would expect from a barbecue rub it makes for the perfect bite–
4 tablespoons American paprika
4 tablespoons powdered garlic
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons whole yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon crushed celery seed
half tablespoon whole celery seed
1 half tablespoon whole allspice seeds
1 dash ground allspice
1 half tablespoon whole coriander seed
1 half teaspoon ground coriander
It’s served with brown sugar and bacon baked beans and mustard tinged coleslaw…
Served on paper but with a white cloth napkin…
I ordered the large order of ribs it was about 19 dollars
And if you can’t make it to Memphis you can still get a taste of rendezvous via their lucrative website at http://hogsfly.com where they ship ribs across the country overnight via FedEx…
If you can plan ahead with a group call ahead and ask about their skillet of shrimp
The restaurant is closed on Sunday so be careful how you plan your weekend…
Recently our BBQ and Grill Show GrateTV held a little challenge. My co-host Jack Waiboer and I made a fast wager on who could compose the best Mac and Cheese. Like MACaroni and Cheese cook OFF or Mac-Off as we called it to kick off our series on starchy sides foe “Starch Madness.” Fun.
I’ll let you watch and see who “won” HERE but I think this “tricky” Mac and Cheese in the Slow cooker is definitely one to tuck away for future use. It has become my favorite BBQ side and is sure to have all your friends asking for the recipe (you probably ought to just share it on Facebook now… I’ll wait…).
12 oz can evaporated milk
1 and a half cups milk
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
8oz. elbow macaroini
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
This is the cure for StarchMadness (well at least temporarily). Start by using a non stick spray on the interior of your slow cooker. It will minimize the sticking as your mac and cheese set at the end of cooking.
In a bowl mix/beat/whisk eggs and then add both evaporated and regular milk. Mix in all the dry spices in to the mix mixture bowl. The trick is that you Dump UNCOOKED dry macaroni noodles into the slow cooker and pour milk mixture on top. Stir completely and then add all of the cheeses. Mix again until fully coated. Cover Cooker and and slow cook on low setting for 5 hours. Stir one time after approximately two hours and try to resist opening the lid until done. Stealth peek in at the end if you don’t have a transparent lid.
We recruited Chef Paul Stewart of the Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe to give the barbecue world a grilled clams recipe and another Clams Bordelaise recipe – a meal in a pot.
It is pure simplicity:
1lb. of fresh clams, tomatoes (we used a can/box of quality crushed tomato) white wine, butter, herbs, and crushed garlic
When the weather gets cooler the grill calls for more seasonal vegetables like squash and maybe a few root vegetables. Here’s an acorn squash recipe and BBQ technique that is a lot of fun for Fall and especially Halloween Pumpkin carving time.
GrateTV’s Jack Waiboer uses a basic stuffing to make this fantastic Acorn Squash recipe on the grill. In fact we use “golden acorn squash” (the ones that look like tiny pumpkins) to create what I call a personal pan pumpkin without the pan. Or as Jack says, “a one dish meal without the dish!”
The acorn squash halloween recipe is super easy and with the addition of a good sausage it’s hearty too. Full breakdown at GrateTV.com Squash Recipe HERE — Like this stuff? Please Comment Like and Share.
Usually the mighty pork spare rib is all the buzz. But deep in the heart of Texas some say the beef back ribs are a secret weapon of pit masters. Using hardwood smoke and just a bit of spice and vinegar, the beefy Fred Flintstone ribs are served almost naked and totally delicious.
We wanted to try to take the beef rib a bit further. Adding the sweet and saucy flavors of the southern pork ribs to heighten the steak on the bone flavor of beef back ribs.
It’s typical to cook pork ribs for around four hours to get them succulent and just right. But beef ribs are a bit different in nature. They are best served and eaten with a chewy tug and a bit of fight. Fall off the bone in the beef world is more akin to pot roast.
We started with two slabs (about 4 pounds each) of nice looking beef ribs from the butcher. They are also readily available around the country in supermarkets as Beef Back Ribs (not short ribs). Just opt for the meatiest slabs that you can find. They will cook down to a more subtle size.
The rib membrane carries a lot of fat and flavor so (unlike pork ribs) we opt to leave this membrane on. Again with beef ribs it’s ok to have a bit of bone gnawing fight.
When it comes to seasoning the Texas pitmasters don’t do much… but we wanted a more southern BBQ flkavor so we rubbed the slabs down with a tablespoon of Tony Cachere’s Cajun seasoning and an equal amount of Turbinado (Sugar In The Raw) Sugar. Let the ribs rest overnight in the fridge or at least a few hours. Then allow the slabs to rest and come to room temperature before placing them on the smoker.
Fuel the smoker with charcoal and mesquite chips to 250 degrees and cover and do not disturb for at least an hour. Check, and refuel as need and cook for another hour with more smoke.
After two hours and fifteen minutes the beef should be pulling back from the ends of the bones. a tell tale sign that it’s about time to eat.
Our BBQ Trick is to add one last step: Wrap the slabs in foil, along with a layer of your favorite sweet sticky sauce plus a good sprinkle of brown sugar. Drop the foil wrapped slabs on direct high heat ( we dropped the smoker grill grate all the way down to the coals to get the meat searing hot. A few minutes on each side should give you a charred blackened sweet and sticky finish that will make you ready to dig in. Just give the ribs a ten minute rest on the cutting board before you cut and serve.
In the accompanying video we prepared the ribs with smashed potatoes. Just leave the spuds in (along with the ribs) for the 2 hour slow cook. Then smash and add cheddar and parmesan before the direct heat blast.
2 Tablespoons Tony Cachere’s Cajun Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Turbinado Sugar (also called Sugar In The Raw)
2 Slabs Beef Back Ribs (approx 4lbs each)
1 cup shredded cheddar
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tablespoons sweet BBQ Sauce
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
Turkeyon a grill or smoker can be tricky. It’s easy to get rubbery skin (and that can actually make some people mad). There’s a lot of expectation on a Thanksgiving dinner especially with skin lovers.
Beer in the Rear Turkey is almost fool proof. It’s quick and give you a crisp golden skin with a hint of smoke.
The first time I heard about the beer can trick was around 1999 when my morning radio hosts became enamored with a recipe they found called Beer Butt Chicken. They thought it was so great (probably just liked that the word Butt was in a recipe) they wanted to bring a grill to the radio station and demo it in the parking lot. I’ve grown to like it too. So it’s fun to be able to super size the recipe.
This time the poor thing gets violated with not just a regular beer can but you use the big “Foster’s Lager” sized can of beer. You can find it in most grocery stores. Reserve half and enjoy as you prep. You’ve earned it. You’re going to want to punch some holes in the top of the can and put some spice rub in the can. And then you get to the bird…where you clean off the bird really well and make sure you get all the different things out of the inside of the cavity of the bird. They hide it in different areas… the neck, the gizzards…
With the bbq spice rub inside the can… the steam and the beer flavoring will actually steam through the turkey and infuse it with a really super flavor keeping the bird moist from the inside out. You’re not going to get much from the outside-in because the skin of a turkey is kind of like a wet suit. Rub the spice under the skin (I call this getting to second base with the Turkey). The skin is really pretty resilient and thick so you’re not going to damage anything.
Then you just insert the can upright inside the bird. Carefully lower the turkey on top of the can making kind of a tripod of sorts. If you need a little extra room on the grill you may want to remove the bottom grill grate and put the tripod on a small roasting pan actually on the floor of the grill directly on the burners of the gas grill. You won’t actually turn the burners on under the bird. Set up for indirect grilling heat. Temperature is going to be 325 to 375 (if you have a temperature gage on your gas grill – use it this time). You can usually get this temp/indirect by having one or two gas burners on and the other two off.
To get a lick of smoke use some wood chips in a smoker box on he lit burner or using a tin foil pouch. Making a smoker pouch really easy. Then and then just let it cook.
After about an hour – open it up turn the bird around let it cook for another hour or until it gets golden brown on both sides. Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh and cook until you hit at least 160 degrees.
You’ll want to use gloves and be super careful removing that can. The liquid is dangerously hot and the can is greasy! Let rest before carving.
Beer In The RearTurkey
In the video demo we used an 11.75 lbs turkeyand cooked for two and a half hours (150 minutes). Approximately 345 degrees Indirect heat.
“Discard” half of the beer. Add 2 tablespoons Rub into remaining liquid in can. Using a “churchkey” can opener add additional holes to top of can. Insert upright under and inside turkey using legs as tripod support. Grill over indirect heat 2 to 3 hours until temperature measures 160 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. Let rest before carving serving.
1 wholeTurkey(10 to 18 lbs.)
6 tablespoons of BBQ Rub or Greek Seasoning
1 can Fosters Lager (or 25.4 oz other)
The best things about these home made chips is the buttery taste and the sturdy firmness of the chip. In fact, you’ll have a hard time finding a chip that can stand up to guacamole and spicy bean dip any better than these.
Add some salt right after frying and serve ’em hot.
Fresh corn tortillias
By Gary Nicolassiand Maria Nicolassi
Are you in the mood for trying something different on your grill? Want something that is fun to cook, delicious to eat and that will impress you, your family and your friends? Well then, do we have something for you. Don’t look now, but straight from the islands it’s Huli Huli Chicken coming your way!
“Huli” is the Hawaiian word for “turn.” Ernest Morgado “invented” Huli Huli chicken in 1955 when barbecuing a batch of chicken for some farmers using his mother’s marinade recipe. It became such a hit that he registered the trademark with the Territory of Hawaii in 1958 and with the US Government in 1965. Morgado cooked the chicken between two grills and when one side was done someone would shout “Huli” and the grills would be flipped over.
The dish has become legend in Hawaii where it is often sold at charity fundraisers. It has also launched many commercial sauce brands and has even inspired a song called Huli Huli Chicken by the group The Barefoot Natives.
Fortunately, you don’t need to use two grills do you your own backyard version of this great tasting dish (although we highly recommend shouting “huli huli” when you turn the chicken). Instead, a charcoal burning barbecue will work quite nicely – we use a Big Green Egg, for example. You will need to get some mesquite chips, if you don’t already have some, and then the ingredients for the following recipe:
One cut up chicken
1/2 cup frozen pineapple concentrate
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup catsup
1 piece of fine grated ginger
3 cloves of crushed garlic
3 Tablespoons of brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
Mix up the ingredients and use about half to marinate the chicken for at least an hour. Reserve the remainder to baste the chicken when it is on the grill. Meanwhile, soak the mesquite chips in water for about 20 minutes. Heat your barbecue to the 300 to 350 degree range, apply your pre-soaked mesquite chips and proceed to turn and baste the chicken every 5 minutes until it is done – about one hour. Oh, and don’t forget to shout “huli huli” when you turn the chicken!
Once you taste Huli Huli Chicken, you will understand what the fuss is about. The chicken is tender, succulent and flavorful without being overpowering. When we have it, the chicken is eaten clean down to the bone. It really is that good! It also lends itself well to entertaining – for example you can use it as a centerpiece for your own Luau. Don’t feel like entertaining? Then use it to give yourself or your family a night of fantasy and fun. Dial up some Don Ho on your iPod, put on that DVD of Elvis in Blue Hawaii, mix up a Mai Tai or other such suitable libation and voila, you have a made-to-order Hawaiian vacation without the expense or hassle of the travel!
Gary and Maria Nicolassi are a husband and wife writing team that author two blogs: