Espresso BBQ Rubbed Pork Ribs
We’ve been here in Minnesota for almost a week and a half now and after a whirlwind of catching up with family and friends, I’m finally getting back in the kitchen to cook and take photos. It’s been a hectic few weeks getting the apartment ready, packing, working and just about 5 million other things that were needed before heading out. Each day flew by without time to post or even explain what we have going on. So, here’s the back story…
From June to the end of July, we have about 3 weddings we needed to attend in Minnesota – one of them we get the honor to be in! (So excited BT and Kim!!!). Instead of flying back and forth from California to Minnesota; trying to figure out dog care, or even attempt to bring them with us on the plane; we came up with the idea to drive back to MN. We would stay there for the duration of our weddings and work remotely. Doing this would save us a big chunk of change and when you pay an insane amount of money for your rent out in California, every dollar counts!
Thanks to our incredible and amazing CEO, we were given approval to do this extended trip and so here we are now – hanging out in MN and working from my parent’s basement. It’s more lovely than it sounds. You should see the view from their backyard! The lily pads have taken over a bit, but it’s pretty much my favorite oasis. It’s even more magical when these snowy-white cranes fly over and perch themselves in a nearby tree or the hummingbirds buzz all around you while they jump from one flower to the next. I love it here in the summer!
As you can see from my parents’ backyard, being outside during the summer is a must… if you can handle being eaten alive by blood-thirsty mosquitoes. However, once a unhealthy amount of bug spray has been coated onto our bodies, we love to relax on the deck with a glass of wine and grill out. Its probably one of my favorite things to do with my family. Life seems to stand still in their backyard and every stress melts away.
A few days ago we hit up Costco and picked up a few packages of Country-Style Pork Ribs. This is a great cut of meat as it’s perfect for grilling It takes a lot less preparation time than baby-back pork ribs. If not overcooked, they will come out perfectly tender and delicious! I will admit that I cheated a bit… actually a lot with this recipe, but that’s okay. Sometimes cooking requires a bit of cheating just as long as it turns out great and everyone is in full smiles while eating! The seasonings I used to give these ribs their amazing flavor were not made from scratch. I picked up this really great Espresso BBQ rub from NapaStyle a while back, while I was out exploring Los Gatos, CA. I knew I had to bring it along with us to Minnesota, since I would be doing plenty of grilling!
If you’ve never been to a NapaStyle, they are wonderful, but they only have two locations. One in Yountville, CA and the other in Los Gatos, CA. The Yountville location has a great cafe where you can chow down on sandwiches, salads, meats and cheeses while sipping various wines from the nearby wineries. If you are ever up there, check it out!
What I love the most about NapaStyle is the owner – chef Michael Chiarello. He’s always been one of those chefs that I’ve admired and would love to meet one day. If you saw my post on Meyer Lemon Limoncello, that was adapted from one of his recipes. Crazy good stuff! He also owns two restaurants in California. Bottega in Napa Valley and Coqueta in San Francisco, both I have yet to visit and must do very soon! On top of this, we has his own line of wines – Chiarello Vineyards. This guy has every angle of the culinary world covered!
For these pork ribs, its probably one of the easiest things to prepare, especially when using a premade rub. About an hour or less before I want to grill up my ribs, I pull them out of the fridge and apply the rub. Make sure to firmly pat it into the meat so that the flavors really get in there deep. We don’t want bland food ever! Once everything is coated, I cover my ribs and set them aside, so the meat can get a little closer to room temperature. This will help with the cooking time and give you a more tender, juicier meat. A very cold meat will take longer to cook through to the center vs. a less colder meat, which is why a lot of people end up with dry meat.
Now, not all of you will feel comfortable letting your meat sit out and that’s okay. I’ve been doing this for awhile, so I’ve become pretty used to this method. It’s when your meat has been out past that hour and a half point, that you have to be careful. Contamination tends to set in around 2 hours and you definitely don’t want that!
While my ribs are hanging out, soaking up all of that flavor, I take that time to drink a little wine and prepare whatever else I want to serve for dinner. We kept is pretty simple and chopped up a fresh green salad and grilled some herb marinated mushrooms. It was perfect and easy, which gave me time to relax on the deck and chat with my family. Plus, with grilling, you don’t have to turn on the oven during these hot summer months. No one enjoys a hot house, especially with the Midwest humidity. Yuck!
Check out the recipe after the jump, then get outside and grill a lot this summer! Here in Minnesota, the clock is ticking to snow blizzards and cabin fever!
A big shout out to Matthew Buettner for helping me with my photography! I couldn’t have done it without him!
- 4 lbs. Country-Style Pork Ribs
- 1/4 cups NapaStyle Espresso BBQ rub or one of your favorite pork rubs
- Favorite brand of BBQ sauce (optional)
- 1 lb. white mushrooms
- 3 tbsp. chopped mixed herbs - basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1. Place ribs onto a baking sheet and coat with 1/4 cup Espresso Rub. Cover and marinate for 30-45 minutes. This can be done in the refrigerator or sitting on top of the counter. Do not exceed 1 hour of marinating, if meat is on the counter! (See note)
- 2. Toss mushrooms with herbs and oil until completely coated. Set aside.
- 3. Turn on grill to medium heat. Brush grill grates with oil, to prevent sticking.
- 4. Once temperature has reached 325 degrees, season meat with salt and place on grill. Turn meat every 8-10 minutes to gain a nice brown crust on each side of the ribs. For medium-rare ribs, cook meat to 140 degrees and allow to rest 5-10 minutes covered with foil. For medium ribs, cook to 150 degrees and rest for 10 minutes. Resting will increase the temperature 10 degrees, so remember not to overcook!
- 5. While ribs are resting, bring up the heat to 350 degrees and cook the mushrooms. For larger mushrooms, this can be done directly on the grates. For smaller mushrooms, place tinfoil down first. Cook until mushrooms are slightly soft and have a nice grill mark over the tops.
- 6. Serve mushrooms and ribs on a big platter with your favorite BBQ sauce and enjoy!
- One trick to a more tender and juicy meat is to bring it closer to room temperature than strictly pulling it out of the cold fridge and cooking right away. If you think about it, cold meat requires more cooking time in order for the heat to reach the center.
- If the core of the meat is closer to room temp, it takes a lot less time for your meat to reach its finished temp - that cold barrier has been broken down by a decent amount. The longer a meat cooks the more you dry it out, especially when cooking at a higher temperature such as grilling.
- One thing to remember is to never allow your meat to sit out longer than 1 hour. At 2 hours, you reach contamination, so 1 hour is where you want to cut off to maintain a safe eating point. If you don't feel safe letting your meat sit out, that's not a problem. I've been doing this for some time now and have become very comfortable with this method. As always, safety first!!