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Farmhouse News

Born and raised in the American South, Cliff has over 30 years experience cooking traditional southern-style barbecue. After working as a chef in Texan and Mexican restaurants in the US, Cliff moved to Australia in 2009 and decided to bring the authentic flavours of his homeland with him. He launched Ranch Style Foods in 2012, which uses the best local produce available to create a range of American-style salsas, rubs and sauces that are all made from scratch and free of artificial preservatives and flavours.

Cliff has generously shared his top tips to help your BBQ reign supreme this summer and two of his favourite recipes. Time to fire up that barbie!

‘Low n Slow’ Tips 

This is the most common style of BBQ in America, where meat is cooked slowly over a low heat.

1.Most smoking in the US involves a ‘rub’ – a blend of salt, spices as well as garlic, onion and sugars. Rub your blend over your protein, ensuring thorough coverage at least 8 hours before beginning the smoking process. This is also the case if you decide to try an ‘indoor’ oven variation. Wrap the rubbed meat in cling wrap and let marinate in the fridge.  

2. When slow smoking, it’s not always easy to tell when the meat is done. Don’t open the smoker too often, but occasionally rotate your cut(s) and check the internal temperatures of the meat with a probe thermometer – 90.5°C for brisket, 96°C for pork shoulder, 74°C for chicken (check at the thigh).  

3. Wrap your finished smoked meats in foil and allow to rest for around 45 minutes.

 

St. Louis Style Ribs

Ingredients  

1 rack of pork ribs (there should be a fair layer of meat on one side)  

1 cup Ranch Hand BBQ Honey Jalapeno Sauce

Garlic salt  

1 cup beef stock  

½ cup water  

2 cloves garlic, minced  

Your backyard barbecue, flame died down to hot coals  

Aluminium roasting pan, big enough for the ribs  

Aluminium foil

Instructions

1. Rub the pork ribs down with a fair bit of garlic salt.

2. Pour the stock, water, garlic and BBQ sauce into the roasting pan and place on the grill to warm.

3. Place ribs on the grill (next to the pan) and turn occasionally until meat is just done.

4. Remove ribs from heat onto a cutting board.

5. Slice between each bone, so that the cut is about even between the bones.

6. Take the separated ribs and place in the warm sauce mixture. Cover with foil and let braise for at least 30 minutes.

7. Remove ribs from pan, letting the sauce mostly drip off each one before placing them back on the hot grill.

8. Cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes.

Serve with coleslaw, pickled carrots or anything zesty. You can do the searing on an indoor grill pan and then braise in the oven – still nice, but not quite as smoky.

Memphis-style Pork Sandwiches

Memphis is arguably the granddaddy of BBQ, and is renowned for its spicy flavours and slow cooking. When you’re in the mood for something a little more mobile and decidedly different than a rack of ribs, you can always find a delicious pulled sandwich.

Ingredients

80g Ranch Hand’s Beale Street BBQ Rub (the amount will depend on the size of the cut).

1 cup Ranch Hand Sweet Hickory BBQ Sauce diluted with ½ cup warm water. 1 pork shoulder, rind removed and saved. This is often called a ‘Boston Butt’ in US recipes.

1 small onion

½ red capsicum, stem and seeds removed (optional – replace with or add in a nice big red cayenne chilli for heat).

Water 

½ cup of Ranch Hand Sweet Hickory BBQ Sauce to finish

A dollop of coleslaw

Method

1.The night before, puree the onion, capsicum, 3 tablespoons water and the Beale Street rub. Thoroughly but gently rub the de-rinded pork with the mixture. Place in a bag, seal and leave in the fridge overnight to dry marinate.

2. When ready, pre-heat smoker using hickory and cherry wood to 120° C.

3. Smoke pork for 6 hours (or more) for maximum tenderness.

4. Chop pork into 1-2cm pieces and place in a large bowl or dish, keeping charred outer ‘bark’ in the mix. Memphis-style pork is more chopped than pulled, resulting in a fantastic texture.

5. Add the diluted Sweet Hickory BBQ sauce and toss with the meat.

6. Add chopped pork to a soft bread roll, hamburger bun or toasted slices of sourdough bread. Finish the sandwich with a dollop of coleslaw on top.