Last night we had dinner with friends; I was on the hook to provide the meat. No complaints with that; yesterday was a fine day to be cooking outdoors.
Spares were cut and trimmed into St. Louis style and put on the older WSM after being dusted with brown sugar, Cajun seasoning mix, chile powder, and some paprika. If you’re wondering why I didn’t use my normal rib rub, I knew there would be lightweights at dinner (hi Bob) and figured I’d give them a break. After about 3 hours at 325°F the ribs were ready to come off the smoker and sit in some foil in a cooler.
I don’t normally do this, but I needed to clear the smoker for the MOINK and had to start the ribs earlier than I wanted since I had that work thing going on in the afternoon and couldn’t work around previous commitments. The things you do to pay for your pleasures…
The MOINK was traditional recipe with the exception of the pepper jelly. This time around it was huckleberry habanero from Columbia Empire Farms. Again, more good pepper jelly that you should try if you ever get the chance.
And yes, technically I made MOINKebabs. This is what happens when you don’t have any toothpicks in the house. Says something that we have skewers but no toothpicks…
The ribs went back on the smoker for the last hour or so before we left to go eat and were brushed with an off-the-shelf BBQ sauce from Trader Joes that happened to be in the cabinet. It all must have been good, as there were no leftovers to bring home afterward. And no pictures either; I totally forgot to take them when it came time for dinner.
There were leftovers from the ribs though. I didn’t put the trimmings back on the smoker as I had other plans for them. I was inspired by a recent post by Larry over at The BBQ Grail where he actually had the nerve to use a crockpot to cook up some raw rib trimmings for taco salads.
Naturally I deviated from the recipe; I really have trouble following directions (just ask my wife). First off, my rib trimmings were already cooked on the smoker. Second, I couldn’t get the green enchilada sauce at the local store, so I substituted some green salsa verde sauce that was on the same shelf as the enchilada sauce at the store.
This all cooked for about 4-5 hours on low while we were all out playing miniature golf, running into each other with bumper boats and bumper cars, and racing around go-cart tracks. When we got back the pork was shredded, the cartilage, bones, and fat discarded, and the sauce mixed back in with the shredded meat. I didn’t mess around with reducing the sauce, and there wasn’t a lot of grease to drain off as most of it had rendered out during the smoking process yesterday.
I also wasn’t going to mess around with baking tortillas for taco salads, so tacos were on the menu. The first batch sported some shredded cheese, tomatoes, shredded romaine lettuce, and avocado slices.
Later on I was hungry for some more and remembered a comment from earlier about using slaw on tacos. I happened to have leftover slaw from earlier in the week, so I made up a few with slaw instead of lettuce.
All I can say is that this was an excellent way to use up the rib trimmings. And there aren’t any more leftovers, so I’m gonna have to make something new for dinner tomorrow.