Dan,
I finally have the moment and the memory to send you the ribs recipe.. so here it is. I think the biggest deal is making your own chili powder — which is endlessly useful on all kinds of stuff — it was outrageous the other night with lime juice on pork chops. I hope you enjoy… I’d love to know how it comes out.

First, the Chili Powder recipe, which I got from Food Network’s Alton Brown. The peppers are adjustable, of course, and using different peppers makes a different character. I have made many batches, and there’s been some variation between batches. It’s always been kick-ass.

Alton Brown’s Chili Powder Recipe
3 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced ?3 cascabel chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced ?3 dried arbol chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced ?2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds ?2 tablespoons garlic powder ?1 tablespoon dried oregano ?1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Place all of the chiles and the cumin into a medium nonstick saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, moving the pan around constantly, until you begin to smell the cumin toasting, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside and cool completely.
Once cool, place the chiles and cumin into the carafe of a blender along with the garlic powder, oregano, and paprika. Process until a fine powder is formed. Allow the powder to settle for at least a minute before removing the lid of the carafe. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Pork Spareribs + Fire = Love

On Ana Tobin’s birthday, she wanted “Noodles and a bone”, we took that to mean Ribs and macaroni and cheese. Not having done ribs before, I bastardized a few recipes to some up with something that I could pull off. It went off very, very well – so I decided that I need to write out what I did so I could remember. So here it is, from start to finish.

In order for this to work, you have to start the night before.

The Day Before:
Wash your pork spareribs with cold water and pat dry..

Peel off the membrane from the underside of the ribs, if you can. I couldn’t on the last batch and they came out tasty.

This is the basis for the rub — I also added a heavy dose of our home made Chili powder to what you see here, and went easy on the cayenne. Be generous and rub the heck out of the ribs, but make sure you have some left over to add to the barbecue sauce.

3/4 cup Spanish paprika ?1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper ?1/4 cup salt ?1/4 cup brown sugar (add to taste)?1/4 cup cocoa powder ?2 tablespoons chili powder ?2 tablespoons garlic powder ?2 tablespoons onion powder ?2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Add Cumin to taste
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
Yields about 2 cups
Put the washed and rubbed ribs in a bin and put them in the fridge overnight.

The Next Day:
Well before you get started, soak your chips – I used hickory to much success.

Fire up the grill! I used the single chamber technique, and set in a bowl of beer under the ribs to provide moisture and catch the pork drippings.

Once you’re up to temp, put the ribs on and throw on some chips. Keep adding chips, charcoal and beer to the bowl until the meat on the ribs pulls back from the bone. Spray a little beer over the ribs while you add to the bowl, too. Make sure that you get plenty of beer into the cook. The recipe claims that you should keep the temp at 225-250 for about 2 hours. I had big, chunky ribs and we hovered around 300 degrees for about 3 hours.

While the ribs are smoking, make the All-American mustard sauce from dad’s barbecue bible. I went ahead and doubled it.

Add leftover rub while you cook this, and season with more homemade chili powder:
1 CUP SUGAR? 1/2 TEASPOON OREGANO? 1 TEASPOON THYME? 1 TEASPOON PEPPER? 1 TEASPOON CORNSTARCH? 1/4 TEASPOON CAYENNE? 2 TEASPOON SALT? 1 CUP CIDER VINEGAR? 2 CUP MOLASSES? 2 CUP PREPARED MUSTARD? 1 CUP KETCHUP? 4 TABLESPOONS VEGETABLE OIL?? COMBINE THE FIRST SEVEN INGREDIENTS IN A SMALL SAUCEPAN. STIR ENOUGH VINEGAR TO MAKE A PASTE. COMBINE MOLASSES, KETCHUP, MUSTARD, OIL, AND REMAINING VINEGAR. ADD TO HERB PASTE. BRING TO BOIL STIRRING CONSTANTLY. REDUCE HEAT AND SIMMER UNCOVERED, 10 MINUTES. STIR FREQUENTLY.