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Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison
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Lone Star Spareribs
from Smoke & Spice(Harvard Common Press, 1994)

In Kansas City, Memphis, and other rib capitals, most barbecuers cook in a "wet" style, applying a sauce near the end of the cooking and again before serving. In Texas, where people love to be contrary, the ribs are often left "dry", as they are here.

For the Ribs:

  • 3 full slabs of pork spareribs, "St. Louis cut" (trimmed of the chine bone and brisket flap), preferably 3 pounds each or less
For the Barbecued Rib Rub:
  • 1/3 cup ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
For Basic Beer Mop (optional):
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup oil, preferably canola or corn
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Barbecued Rib Rub
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped

1. The night before you plan to barbecue, combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Apply the rub evenly to the ribs, reserving about half of the spice mixture. Place the slabs in a plastic bag and refrigerate them overnight.

2. Before you begin to barbecue, take the ribs from the refrigerator. Pat them down with the remaining rub, reserving 1 tablespoon of it if you plan to use the mop. Let the ribs sit at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. Prepare the smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature to 200 degrees F to 220 degrees F.

3. If you are going to baste the ribs, mix together the beer, vinegar, water, oil, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and rub in a large saucepan. Warm the mop liquid over low heat.

4. Transfer the meat to the smoker. Cook the ribs for 5 to 6 hours, turning and basting them with the mop about once an hour in a wood-burning pit, or as appropriate in your style of smoker.

5. When ready, the meat should be well-done and falling off the bones. Allow the slabs to sit for 10 minutes before slicing them into individual ribs.

Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison are the country's preeminent experts on smoke-cooked barbecue and regional Southwestern cooking. The authors of ten cookbooks and travel guides, they write with wit and passion about American home cooking, the food and culture of the Southwest, and tropical travel. The Jamisons have twice received the culinary world's most prestigious honor, the James Beard Book Award, for Smoke & Spice and for The Border Cookbook, which was also nominated for the Julia Child Cookbook Award. The Jamison's books are acknowledged to be definitive guides to their respective subjects - authentic smoke-cooked barbecue, genuine Southwest-border home cooking, or succulent, "open-air, open-flame" grilling. The New York Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Cook's Illustrated, On the Grill, and Gourmet are only a few of the major publications that have praised the Jamisons for their encyclopedic knowledge and engaging writing style.

The Jamisons are also national spokespeople for The National Pork Producers Council and are frequent guest- instructors at many prestigious cooking schools around the country, including the Santa Fe School of Cooking where Cheryl teaches traditional and contemporary Southwestern and Mexican cooking. In addition to their cookbooks and travel guides, the Jamisons also write articles for magazines and newspapers, including Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Cook's Illustrated, On the Grill, and the New York Times. Bill and Cheryl Jamison make their home in Santa Fe, where they develop their recipes and do most of their writing.

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