Chow Town

Potato salad, smoked ribs make a great pairing

What’s a great potato salad without great ribs? They are as natural a pairing as beef and fries.

Now that you have a recipe for

Guido’s Serious Potato Salad

, here’s Guido Meindl’s technique for Serious Pasahooly Ribs.

Guido has a large brick and heavy gauge steel deep pit cooker, with a 20-plus slab capacity, that’s about 3-foot deep with roll down lid. Adapt his technique to your own pit. I got great results in my kettle grill.

Although I don’t use foil when I smoke ribs, Guido is in good company of the many pitmasters who do. I did it his way this time and loved the results.

Depending upon his level of frustration with politics on any given rib smoking day, Guido, who lives in Pasadena, Calif., calls his ribs “Pasahooly” on bad days and “Pasadoony” on better days. I have yet to enjoy his ribs on location in Pasadena, but he shared his technique with me, so here goes.

Guido’s Serious Pasahooly Ribs Serves 2 to 3 people per slab – or 1 person per slab, depending on your guest list Pork spareribs trimmed St. Louis-style
Vinegar Spicy Lemon Ginger Rub or your favorite rub Oak logs, chunks or chips (I use charcoal briquets with wood chips) Guido’s Serious Potato Salad Dressing (red wine vinegar, olive oil, bacon grease)

Guido’s recipe for Spicy Lemon Ginger Rub is a trade secret. I have found nothing else like it in the marketplace or online. Here are the ingredients listed on the label if you want to experiment with developing your own recipe: sea salt, sugar, lemon peel, garlic, chili, paprika, onion, ginger, cayenne, celery seed, oregano, rosemary, hickory smoke powder, spices.

Sprinkle ribs with vinegar, then sprinkle lightly with rub. Guido uses “a generous portion” of rub. Wrap them in aluminum foil and marinate overnight.

Start the fire with split oak logs and let them burn down to coals with a rich red glow. Brush the ribs with some potato salad dressing, place whole unwrapped slabs sideways on racks and smoke them at 240 to 250 degrees with vents open about two hours until they have some color.

Wrap them in aluminum foil, punch the top of the wrap with six holes and put them back on the racks. Cook another 2-1/2 to 3 hours with the vents open and leave them there until you’re ready to serve.

“The wrap essentially continues to cook the ribs in their own juice and marinade,” Guido said.

He added, “You would not believe how tender and flavorful these ribs are. The meat once removed from the foil is so tender that the bones just slip out.”

As to the foil or no foil question, Guido lands solidly on the “Thank God for this invention” side.

Ardie Davis is an iconic figure in the barbecue community. He founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS’s Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on numerous food shows and writes for a variety of barbecue-related publications. He is also the author of a number of barbecue books, his most recent release “America’s Best BBQ Homestyle: What Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards.”