The best place in Calgary for beef ribs, no question, is Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey. If you haven’t been there, you must! I recommend pretty much the entire menu, but especially the corn bread, smokestack corn, and beef short rib. Since everything is smoked for the day, go there after 10:00 pm and all meat is half price, you seriously won’t find a deal better than that for food at this level of deliciousness.
Anyway, I was getting somewhere with that. I wanted to see if I could make ribs even half as incredible as the ones they serve. Without a smoker, I cannot replicate per-say, but this recipe still produces incredibly tender ribs packed with flavour. The cooking method seals in the juices and breaks down the sinewy bits of the meat to make it just melt in your mouth. The marinade is sweet and slightly tangy, but light enough not to outshine the bold and rich flavour of the beef. When I lifted the foil off these bad boys, I suddenly turned into an old Texan man and let out a deep bellow of, “ohhhhh Momma those look good!” Enough said, they’re decadent.
1.5 Kg Beef ribs
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
(I have measurements here, but really, just salt it a fair bit and pepper a little less)
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Chili powder
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Maple syrup (real maple syrup, no Aunt Jemima allowed!)
2 tbsp Maple syrup
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Old style grainy mustard
3 tbsp Barbeque sauce
1) Set up a baking sheet with a layer of aluminium foil a couple inches larger than the ribs. Place the ribs on top and season well with salt and pepper.
2) Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Then, pouring a small amount of the mixture on the ribs at a time, gradually cover them all over. It’s going to get messy; no basting brush is an appropriate substitute for getting your hands dirty! Set the ribs meat side up and pour any remaining marinade on top.
3) Using another piece of aluminium foil similar to the size of the first one, fold the sides in, rolling them over themselves a couple of times to form a sealed pouch.
4) Refrigerate at least one hour or, ideally, overnight.
5) When you are ready to cook them, heat your barbeque to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the ribs (in their foil packet – sans baking sheet) on the top rack of the barbeque and cook for 2 1/2 hours, low and slow, no peeking!
6) Combine the maple syrup, two types of mustard, and barbeque sauce.
7) Transfer the ribs, in foil, off the barbeque and onto the baking sheet. Carefully remove the top layer of foil (it will be hot inside) and then pull the ribs off the bottom layer of foil.
8) Using tongs, place the ribs back on the barbeque. I needed two sets to prevent them falling apart; they were THAT tender! Baste with half the sauce mixture on one side and grill for 5 minutes. Flip over, baste again and do another 5 minutes.
If you can slice without them completely falling apart, well done, I just barely did this successfully. But I guess that’s the goal!
I served them with coleslaw, whiskey barbeque beans, and smokestack corn; I’ve been perfecting my recipe for the corn since trying it at Hayden Block, and will post when I finally get it just right. Just look at those ribs though, ugh, to die for!