Star Spangled Independence Day Grill Out

Sweet and Sour Balsamic BBQ Ribs

Grilled Georgia Corn with Pesto Butter & Lemon Thyme Grilled Yukon Gold Potatoes

I really love to barbecue and over the years I have come up with this cooking method for ribs. Some people do not simmer their ribs first but I think it is necessary to use some kind of moist heat to breakdown the membranes and insure the tenderness of the ribs. This method of cooking ribs takes time but well worth the effort!

Lets go ahead and marinate the ribs!

Marinate and Simmer the ribs.

1 piece baby back ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 48 ounce can pineapple juice

2 cups orange juice

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 medium onion chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon black peppercorns, whole

4 Thai chilies chopped

When you get a rack of ribs sometimes there is a membrane on the the bone side. There is a big controversy about whether to remove it or leave it intact. In my opinion  don't waste your time, leave it on, it helps keep the ribs moist and protects the ribs.

Rinse the ribs under cold water and pat dry. Place the ribs in a square or rectangle baking pan large enough for the ribs. Mix above ingredients in a bowl and pour over the ribs.

Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

After marinating the ribs place the ribs and marinade in a large sauce pot and make sure the ribs are covered. If not, add a little cold water to cover. Simmer the ribs for about 1-1/2 hours or until they are tender and the meat starts to pull back from the bones. While the ribs are cooking make the BBQ sauce.

Balsamic BBQ Sauce

2 cups Balsamic vinegar

2 cups ketchup

12 ounces beer

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

6 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

Place the balsamic vinegar in a large sauce pot and bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add the remaining ingredients and bring back to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until thick. If you necessary,  add a little water if the sauce gets to thick. Season with salt.

Cool the and strain the sauce. When the ribs are done place them directly into the BBQ sauce and completely cover the ribs with the sauce. This must be done while the ribs are hot. If they are allowed to cool they will dry out and become tough! Place the marinating ribs in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Grilled Georgia Sweet Corn with Basil Butter

Make the pesto

1 cup basil, packed

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup Parmesan  cheese

2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper

1/2 pound butter, room temperature

Place all ingredients except butter in a mortar or blender. Blend until all ingredients are fully incorporated and smooth. Place in a bowl with the butter and mix together with a wooed spoon. Leave at room temperature until the potatoes are done.

Charcoal Grilled Yukon Gold Potatoes

4-6 Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped lemon thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients with the potatoes and let sit for about a half an hour.

Place potatoes on a moderately hot charcoal grill. Grill on both sides until tender, hold warm.

Peel the corn  leaving the thin outer leaves attached.

Peel back the leaves from the corn. Remove any dark leaves and all the hair. Simmer the corn in a large pot with salted water, top of the corn facing downwith the leaves hanging out of the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the corn and brush the corn with the basil butter. Fold the leaves to the front and place on a charcoal grill. Turn frequently and grill just enough to give them some color or grill marks.

Peel back the leaves and brush with more basil butter, hold warm.

Finish the ribs.

When you are ready to cook the ribs remove the ribs from the BBQ sauce and place on a moderately warm charcoal grill, bone side down first. Because we simmered the ribs and cooked them first they will not take long and  the ribs do not have to be heated  to the recommended 145 degrees. Turn the ribs often and try to get a nice glaze on them, what I call  "candied". Careful not to caramelize too much or the sugar in the sauce will burn.