The Day's Rick Koster offers his pork rib dry rub recipe
What: Just because I enthuse over the magnificence of a Double Whopper or shed a tear every time I remember we don't have an Arby's nearby, do you think I'm not capable of my own culinary sorcery?
Those who know can attest to the fact that, while not many restaurants are clamoring for me to work on the line in any capacity, I can do a few things well. I can flat out make gumbo, chili and smoked, dry-rubbed pork ribs. For the latter, which are particularly popular in these warm weather months, much of the success comes from the dry rub itself. As in, no sauce required (although having some on hand presents another tasty option).
After a long-ago attempt back in Texas to create my own dry rub — the first batch made it taste as though the ribs had been hand-packed in powdered aspirin — I eventually came up with a tasty mixture that you might enjoy.
Which is why, as a slight twist on our Night & Day "What to Cook" series — where we've been featuring easy and quick recipes from local superstar chefs to enhance your weekend enjoyment — we're sharing an Everyman contribution, and the Everyman in question is moi. Herewith is what you need.
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp white pepper
1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
½ tbsp ground red pepper
½ tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. This should capably cover a rack of ribs; do the math if you want more. Another fun idea: I explore with different things dabbled on the ribs BEFORE applying the rub mixture to help it adhere to the meat. Shake some Crystal or Tabasco sauce — or even a bit of yellow mustard (this requires some bravery and discretion so the mustard doesn't overpower everything. This idea came during the drinking days, but I seem to recall liking how it turned out). Also, try to evenly pack the rub over the whole rack rather than just randomly sprinkle.
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“My goal usually is to make whatever I do as simple as possible and fresh,” he says.