Traditional Memphis Dry Rub BBQ Ribs have become very popular in recent years. The dry rub spice mixture has a BBQ flavor that is not spicy hot like a Southwestern or Cajun style dry rub. The flavor balance is unique. The flavor of Memphis Dry Rub tastes like classic Southern style BBQ and it is not spicy hot.
Memphis Dry Rub Ribs are usually served with Memphis BBQ Sauce on the side, but some restaurants in that region finish the Memphis Dry Rub Ribs by slathering them with sauce just before they are served. Either way is good, but many purists demand the sauce on the side, because the dry rub flavor is so good.
Sticking with a Southern cuisine theme is always good when it comes to BBQ accompaniments. Buttermilk Cole Slaw is traditional in the South. Louisiana Green Potato Salad is traditional too.
In Louisiana there are a couple of mayonnaise recipes that are identified by color. Red Mayonnaise is made with plenty of minced mild red peppers. Green Mayonnaise is made with lots of green onion and herbs. Both of these items are great for making potato salad.
Memphis Dry Rub BBQ Spice Mix:
This recipe yields enough for 1 full rack of spare ribs. This recipe is easy to multiply.
Place 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar in a mixing bowl.
Add 4 tablespoons of brown sugar.
Add 4 tablespoons of Spanish Paprika.
Add 3 tablespoons of guajillo chile powder.
Add 3 tablespoons of ancho chile powder.
Add 1 tablespoon of garlic powder.
Add 4 tablespoons of onion powder.
Add 1 tablespoon of cumin.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground mustard seed.
Add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper.
Add 2 teaspoons of black pepper.
Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
Mix the spices together.
Memphis Dry Rub Barbecue Spare Ribs:
This recipe yields 1 rack of spare ribs.
Step 1: Generously rub the spice mixture on a rack of pork spare ribs.
Place the ribs on a pan.
Chill the ribs in a refrigerator for 1 hour, so the BBQ spice flavor sinks in.
Step 2: Place the rack of ribs on a wire screen roasting rack on a roasting pan.
*Traditional Cooking Method: Slow roast the rack of ribs in a smoker that is set to 225ºF. There should only be a thin wisp of hickory and white oak smoke.
*Optional Cooking Method: Slow roast the ribs in a 250ºF oven.
Step 3: Slow roast the ribs, till the ribs are fully cooked.
*The meat should shrink enough to expose about 3/8" of bare rib bone. This is a sign that the ribs are ready. The ribs meat should be tender enough to easily pull off the bones. Depending on the size of the ribs, this can take almost 2 hour of slow roasting time.
Keep the ribs warm on a stove top or reheat them in a 300ºF oven.
Memphis BBQ Sauce:
This recipe yields about 1 1/3 cups of sauce!
Step 1: Place 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a sauce pot.
Add 1 tablespoon of black strap sorghum molasses.
Add 1/2 cup of tomato puree.
Add 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard.
Add 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar.
Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Add 2 cups of water.
Place the sauce pot over low heat.
Step 2: Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of Spanish Paprika.
Add 1 tablespoon of ancho chile powder.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of guajillo chile powder.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Add 1 tablespoon of onion powder.
Add 1 teaspoon of cumin.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
Step 3: Slowly simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a medium thin BBQ sauce consistency that can coat a spoon.
Step 4: Taste the sauce. Adjust the salt and pepper seasoning if necessary.
*The sauce should be mildly spicy with a rich sweet and tangy BBQ sauce flavor. The sauce should be slightly on the sweet side of the sweet and sour flavor balance. If necessary, adjust the sweet sour balance with more brown sugar or cider vinegar.
Step 5: Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a large ramekin.
Keep the sauce warm on a stove top.
Green Potato Salad:
This recipe yields 2 portions.
Step 1: Boil 1 peeled russet potato with water over high heat in a sauce pot.
Cook the potato till it is tender, but not mushy.
Cool the potato under cold running water.
Step 2: Dice the potato into small cube shaped pieces.
Place the diced potato in a mixing bowl.
Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon of minced green bell pepper.
Add the finely minced green tops of 2 to 3 green onions.
Add 1 tablespoon of finely minced curly leaf parsley.
Add 1 tablespoon of sour cream.
Add 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard.
Season with 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
Step 4: Add just enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together.
Gently mix the potato salad.
Chill the potato salad in a refrigerator to a temperature of 41ºF.
Buttermilk Cole Slaw:
This recipe yields 2 portions.
This is the shredded style buttermilk slaw. Basically, this style is like marinated cabbage. Most of the buttermilk dressing will settle to the bottom of the bowl. The dressing can be reused to make a second batch.
Step 1: Place 2 1/4 cups of thin sliced cabbage in a mixing bowl.
Add 1/3 cup of mixed green bell pepper and red bell pepper that are cut into small thin strips.
Add 1 tablespoon of minced onion.
Step 2: Add 1/2 cup of buttermilk.
Add 1 pinch of sea salt and coarse ground black pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
Mix the ingredients together.
Step 3: Chill the cole slaw in a refrigerator to 41ºF.
Toss the ingredients together occasionally.
Memphis Dry Rub Barbecue Spare Ribs ~ Platter Presentation:
3 or 4 large meaty ribs is a lunch portion. A half rack is a full portion!
Place the buttermilk coleslaw on a bed of lettuce leaves on the back half a steel platter.
Place the green potato salad on a bed of lettuce leaves next to the slaw.
Place the Memphis BBQ Sauce in a large shallow ramekin and place it on the platter.
Cut a lunch portion of ribs or a full half rack portion.
Slice between the bones, but only 3/4 of the length of the rib, so the ribs are attached to each other on one end.
Set the ribs on the platter.
*You can lightly sauce the ribs before serving or serve the sauce on the side. Most people like the sauce on the side when eating Memphis BBQ ribs.
By the way, I smoked ribs and barbecued ribs for over one year in the busiest BBQ restaurant in Florida several years ago. The restaurant won the World Championship Of BBQ a few times and they won Best Ribs In America over 10 times. I definitely know how to cook great BBQ!