Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Caribbean Dry Rub Barbacoa Spare Ribs with Jamaican Newspice Palm Sugar Sauce

     Caribbean Style Dry Rub Ribs!
     Where did barbecue actually begin?  Few modern backyard barbecue cooks know the answer to this question.  The Native Arawak and Caribe Tribes in the Caribbean Islands used the barbacue cooking process to preserve meats.  In the Caribbean, Barbecue is called Barbacoa. 
     Both the barbecue cooking style and the jerk cooking style originated in the Caribbean Islands long before Columbus landed on shore.  Both of these cooking styles made use of extremely spicy hot chile peppers that grow on the islands.
     Modern Jerk recipes are still made in a way that is similar to the old Arawak Jerk method.  The Arawak-Caribe tribal barbacoa cooking style was adapted and modified by nearly every culture that landed on Caribbean shores, from pirates and slaves to spice traders.  Mango Barbacoa was one of the first barbecue sauces that was adapted from the original Arawak-Caribe tribal recipes. 

     Where the British had colonies during the Victorian Age, servants from India also went.  Britain occupied Jamaica and a few other Caribbean Islands back then.  Indian servants (slaves) introduced spices from back home to the local Caribbean cuisine. 
     Indian curry spices soon became a tradition with subcultures in the Caribbean Islands.  Indian curry spices were combined with local Caribbean spices and hot chile peppers to create unique new flavors.  Jamaican style Curry Chicken was made with Indian curry spices, Jamaican Allspice (Newspice) and local Scotch Bonnet Peppers.  Local Allspice and Scotch Bonnet Peppers were also added to many Indian Chutney recipes.  This cross cultural cuisine infusion resulted in a unique new Indo-Caribe style cuisine.  
     In modern times, curry spices are often used to flavor Caribbean style fish, fried chicken, potato croquette and rice recipes.  Bronzing Spice Mix is a good example of a Caribbean style Curry Spice Dry Rub.  Bronzing Spice Mix is perfect for chicken, seafood and pork.  

     Today's Caribbean Dry Rub BBQ Spice Mix is similar to a Bronzing Spice Mix, but the flavor range is expanded to create a signature BBQ flavor.  Most Dry Rub BBQ is accompanied by a dipping sauce or the finished Dry Rub BBQ is slathered with sauce before being served.  Most accompanying sauces for dry rub are traditional American style BBQ sauces that have a brown sugar base, sugar cane molasses base.  Sorghum molasses is often part of the BBQ sauce mix, especially for Memphis style Dry Rub BBQ.   
      Since Caribbean cuisine is a tropical cuisine, Palm Sugar seemed like a natural choice for a simple accompanying sauce.  Palm Sugar has a very rich flavor that is similar to Indian Jaggery or Dark Sugar Cane Molasses.  Palm Sugar is used extensively in Southeast Asian cuisine.  
     In today's BBQ recipe, the ribs are finished with Newspice Palm Sugar Sauce when they are grilled.  This really wakes up the Caribbean Dry Rub BBQ Spice flavor!  
     Jamaican Allspice was originally called Newspice.  The word Newspice appeared in recipes for few decades after the British occupied Jamaica and the Caribbean spice trade commenced.  A combination of allspice, palm sugar and chile pepper creates a basic sweet BBQ sauce flavor that is nice with Indo-Caribe style Dry Rub BBQ Ribs.   

     Indo-Caribe Dry Rub Barbacoa Spice Mix:
     This recipe yields enough dry rub for 1 or 2 full racks of pork spare ribs, depending on how the ribs are cut.    
     White pepper, black pepper and cumin are part of North Indian garam masala spice mix, so adding more of these spices is not necessary.  Garam Masala is available in Indian food markets.  
     Place 1/3 cup of garam masala in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of ginger powder.
     Add 1 teaspoon of dry mustard.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of allspice.
     Add 1 tablespoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon of ground dried scotch bonnet pepper.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of coriander.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of ancho chile powder.
     Add 2 teaspoons of ground anatto.
     Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
     Add 2 tablespoons of onion powder.
     Add about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.  (To taste.  Do not add too much salt or the salt flavor will be overbearing.)
     Add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
     Mix the ingredients together.

     Caribbean Dry Rub Barbacoa Spare Rib Preparation:
     This recipe yields 1 rack of spare ribs.
     A low temperature oven or smoker can be used to roast the ribs.  Slow roasting will make the ribs juicy and tender, without burning the spices!
     Step 1:  Dust 1 full rack of pork spare ribs with the Indo-Caribe dry rub BBQ spice mixture. 
     Rub the spices on the ribs.
     Chill the ribs for 2 hours, so the spices flavor the meat.
     Step 2:  Place the rack of spare ribs on a roasting rack on a roasting pan.
     Slow roast the ribs in a 250ºF to 275ºF oven, till the ribs are fully cooked and the fat begins to sputter.  The meat will recede from the ends of the bones when the ribs are fully cooked. 
     Step 3:  Remove the ribs from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.
     Slice between the bones to separate the rack into individual ribs.
     Set the ribs aside.

     Jamaican Newspice Palm Sugar Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 1 cup or enough for 1 rack of ribs.
     Palm Sugar can be found in Asian and Indian food markets.    
     Heat a small sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 2 cups of water.
     Add 1/2 cup of palm sugar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of allspice.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of coriander.
     Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a very thin consistency. 
     Set the sauce aside.  

     Caribbean Dry Rub Barbacoa Spare Ribs with Jamaican Newspice Palm Sugar Sauce:
     A half of a rack of spare ribs is usually one portion.  A half rack of ribs is on the plate in the photo examples above.
     It only takes a few minutes to finish dry rub ribs with sauce.  
     *For those who do indoor BBQ because of weather or environmental regulations, use a ribbed cast iron griddle to start the ribs and to give the ribs some grill marks.  Finish the ribs under a broiler set to a low flame and brush the ribs with the sauce, so the spices do not burn.
     Step 1:  Heat a chargrill to a medium temperature.
     Place the Caribbean Dry Rub Barbacoa Spare Ribs on the grill.
     Flip the ribs occasionally, till grill marks appear.
     Step 2:  Start basting the ribs with the Jamaican Newspice Palm Sugar Sauce.
     When caramelized highlights first start to appear, move the ribs to a cooler temperature spot on the grill.
     Baste the ribs occasionally as the ribs slowly roast, till the sauce lightly glazes the ribs.
     Step 3:  Stack a half rack portion of Caribbean Dry Rub Barbacoa Spare Ribs on a plate.
     Spoon a little bit of the extra Jamaican Newspice Palm Sugar Sauce on the plate.
     Sprinkle some grated coconut over the ribs.
     Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

     This is one great tasting dry rub BBQ rib recipe!  The Jamaican newspice palm sugar sauce wakes the Caribbean dry rub barbacoa spice flavors up. 

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