Friday, July 29, 2011

Jack's Ribs

   Ribs, Ribs, Ribs!

   Everyone likes ribs, or at least everyone should like ribs. Luckily some folks love ribs so much it probably makes up for the folks who do not like them.

   As you cruise the meat department of the local grocer you can see that there are quite a few differing cuts of ribs. Looking around the internet you will find thousands of ways to prepare them, each with its own special attraction. Everyone who is a fan of ribs also seems to have their own way of preparing them, which is always the best way.

   I came across a youtube video done the the BBQ Pit Boys called 'Jack's Ribs Country Style' that I thought was a really cool way to do up some country style pork ribs. As I had just found these style of ribs on sale at a local market the timing was perfect. Or maybe it was the other way around, I picked up the on sale ribs, then did a search for a new way to cook them.

   Either way, the Pit Boy's version looked great, a real must try! Here is how the ribs were cooked up.

   Jack's Ribs Country Style

4 to 5 Lbs 'Country Style' Spare Rib
2 16 oz Bottles BBQ Sauce of choice
1 10 oz Can Ro*Tel Tomatoes & Chiles / drained
1 7 oz Can Whole Roasted Green Chiles / drained
1 12 oz Bottle Beer of your choosing
4 Jalapenos / seeded & sliced in half lengthwise
1 sm Onion / quartered & sliced thick
2 TBS Tango Spice Chik N Rib Rub

   Combine BBQ sauce & RoTel in a large bowl. Add Chik N Rib Rub, stir well.
   Add the onions & jalapenos & beer, stir well.
   Put ribs in the sauce and coat well.
   Put the ribs in a doubled up, deep 1/2 size aluminum throw away pan. Pour sauce mixture over the ribs, careful not to overflow and also reserve 2 cups (there will be 2) for heating up.
   Cover pan with heavy foil and set aside while getting the grill up to medium hot.
   Place the reserved sauce in a BBQ safe pot and move around the grill from direct heat to indirect heat, keeping it from over cooking. Let this thicken up.
   Place the pan directly over the coals / burner and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Let this simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. I let this go for about another 20 minutes after the first hour.
   Remove the pan from the grill and then place the rib directly onto the grill and add some of the sauce from the pot. Get some sear marks on these.
   Plate these up after you get the marks you like, and then enjoy some darn good ribs.

Lined Up & Ready To Go

BBQ Sauce & Chik N Rib Rub

Go Ahead, Take A Bite

Only One Item Missing

Add That Beer

Give It A Stir

Dip Your Ribs

Give Them A Nice Coat

Put Them In A Doubled Up Pan

Add The Sauce Mixture & More Chik N Rib Rub 

Going Direct Heat

Bubbles Up Really Nice;y


One Cup Of Reserved Sauce Set To Boil

Toil & Trouble

Gettin' Close

Place The 'Rib' Over The Coals

Add Some More Sauce

Add Some Nice Sear

Plate That Stuff Up & Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Havasu BBQ 2011

Doing Nothing - AZ Style!

So, there I was, in the heat of the Arizona desert. I was as west as you can get in the Copper State, right on the shores of the mighty Colorado River in my home town of Lake Havasu City. It was vacation time and there was no way I wanted to stand in lines at a place like Disney, and I had no need to go to some fancy schmancy locale that is meant to impress those who stay home more than getting any actual relaxing in. 

NO - this was a time to kick back, do nothing and enjoy some well deserved down time.

Well, not do totally nothing. We came prepared to do what we like to do best, cook & entertain. We were able to score a nice place to stay with a sweet pool and one of the best views in the city. Thank you to Jeanette and everyone over at Lake Havasu Vacation Rentals for helping with our lodging arrangements.

One thing that makes a Tango vacation different from a 'normal' vacation is that I like to do just as much cooking away from home as we do back at the Test Kitchen. This time was no different. I got in contact with Dana & Bob Eland over at Shishcabob's BBQ & More store in Havasu and they set me up with a Sweet Home Pellet Smoker for the weekend. Yup, some folks go skiing, horseback riding or mountain climbing. Well, I wanted to do some hangin' out by the pool and get some good cooking time in. Thursday afternoon Bob stopped by in the Rhino with a Sweet Home Pellet Grill for us to check out. This would be on of our cooking units for the weekend and I will say I was rather excited.

I have seen pellet grills / smokers before in person and on videos and thought it was a cool idea. Well, let me tell you, after cooking up a storm for two days on one, I think I need to have one in the Test Kitchen.

Thursday night the meal was simple bone in chicken breasts with Tango Chik N Rib Rub and a dozen ABTs, stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon. This was a good way to get the feel of how the settings worked for temperature control and how the feeder worked for the pellets. Easy as easy could be. Like Ron Popeil would say, 'set it and forget it'. That is about how it worked.

Friday night we were having family and friends over for eats and drinks so the Sweet Home was cranked up about 11:30 am because there were a few racks of pork ribs, more chicken breasts, a 'Southwestern Fatty', brats and a couple of dozen MOINKS to smoke up.

Let me just say that the Sweet Home was fantastic. The 450 square inches of grill space was plenty of room for all sorts of food. The electronic temperature control worked like a charm, setting differing temps all day for certain food items was a breeze. I can not say enough about how well it worked. I am sure that one will be making its way into my back yard before too long.

Thanks again to Bob & Dana at Shishcabob's for setting us up with a great smoker!

All in all it was a very nice vacation, more like home away from home with all the family and friends we got to spend time with and share some really great food. Perfection for me!

Here is a short video to give you a feel for the awesome eats we were able to prepare.


When in Havasu, please stop by 
Shishcabob's BBQ & More
911 N. Lake Havasu Ave. Ste 106
Lake Havasu, AZ

Check us out at

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Rain Came Down!

Earlier this month we had the opportunity to take a short vacation. This was no Disney adventure or trek to an over-crowded hot spot where the only game in town is to hurry up and wait. Nope, this was a chance to get back to our Desert Home Town and do a whole lot of what I think one is supposed to do on a vacation -  Nothing.

This was a week to be in Lake Havasu, AZ and do absolutely nothing.

More on the 'Uneventful Event Of The Summer' in the next post. First I want to show ya a little bit of the wonders of Monsoon Season on the lake.

The view is from Lake Havasu, Arizona and looking west over to Havasu Lake, California.


As Always, Thank You For Watching!

Tango Spice Company!
Tango On Youtube!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Woke Up This Mornin' ~ Had No BBQ Sauce
Woke Up This Mornin' ~ Had No BBQ Sauce

Sounds like a blues tune to me, guess I better learn to play the guitar!

That's right, I woke up this morning' and found I had no BBQ sauce. Of course it being 6 am on a Sunday I certainly did not feel like schlepping to the store for one bottle so I did what any respectful grill dude would do, I cooked some up. As I am usually found doing, I was cooking this in the outdoor test kitchen so any of the neighbors who had their windows open are waking up hungry for some BBQ!

This is not your ordinary, every day BBQ sauce either. What we have here is a pungent, tangy, spicy sauce that will open your eyes and make you take notice! With the use of balsamic vinegar & Tango Spice Southwest Sunset, this is a powerful sauce that really delivers a big flavor!

Balsamic BBQ Sauce

1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 Cup Ketchup
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Dijon Mustard

3 Cloves Garlic / smeared
1 Small Red Onion / minced
1 TBS Canola Oil

1/3 Cup Brownulated Sugar*
1 TBS Tango Spice Southwest Sunset**
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Place the oil, onion & garlic in a medium hot sauce pan, heat for a minute or two 
Add the dry ingredients, stir to combine and heat for two minutes, stir constantly so the brownulated sugar does not burn 
Add the wet ingredients and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. 
Simmer over medium-low heat about 15 to 20 minutes, while constantly stirring the pot. The sauce will reduce about 1/4
Remove from the heat, let cool and put in an airtight jar or squeeze bottle.
This makes just under two cups.

If you wish, you can strain or run in a food processor for an even smoother sauce.

* Brownulated Sugar: This is a pourable brown sugar with a medium molasses flavor. It doesn't lump, cake, or harden. You can use it for baking, sprinkling on fruits, cereals, pancakes, and ice cream. This is a cup for cup replacement for regular light brown sugar, not dark brown.

** Tango Spice Southwest Sunset: This is our version of chili powder, though it is a bit more aromatic and flavorful.