Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Country Style Rib Sandwiches

Today we saw something we have not seen in maybe eight months. We saw eighty degrees of blessed Fahrenheit grace our mercury tubes. The balmiest of suns hung in the sky, and its golden rays poured over the fair land, drenching the trees and those who wandered amid them, in a glorious, life-giving warmth. We didn’t quite know even what to do with ourselves.  The last of the ice banks dissolved into a wet earth, whilst the morale of the people soared headlong with the temperatures. And the first buds of the Lilac bushes poked their heads cautiously out, to check and see if it was really as they had heard. If, whether or not, spring was commencing here on the 45th parallel. And it appears, with a rather optimistic hue, that it has.

Naturally, folks across fruited plain are finally firing up their BBQ grills, in a token light to the new grilling season. We were no different here at the POTP, tho sweeter these sorts of days are, I dare say, to those keepers of the flame who have bared the blizzards, and trimmed their grills against the tempest. To our winter grilling brethren out there, for whom’s glowing screen these cyber pages may stretch, who have stood strong in the face of defeating wind chill, eternal darkness, and driving sleet – we commend your fortitude, and your heady passion for the game. For those were our glory days, by and far, standing stalwart at our cookers as the calendar flipped, with our white flags stowed deep in our pockets.  Paying our dues with the mounting drifts of snow. Those were the days indeed, robust and raw, and we can be proud of them, as we hold our tongs high. But these eighty degree days, with endless sun and darting song birds, well, they aren’t so bad either. And we can appreciate them just as well, I should say. Days indeed sweeter to the soul,  having grilled long remember, on the dark side of the moon. Glory!

On the grill today, hickory-apple smoked country-style rib sandwiches. So get your bib on, cause this one is gonna fall on your lap!

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This sandwich is something of an expedient pulled pork affair, for when you’re in the mood for a savory pulled pork sandwich, but you lack the time and fancy to smoke the big Boston butts for half the day long. In some ways, they are better even. A fraction of the time, and because the pieces are small to start with, you get an elevated smoke-to-meat-ratio. Every bite is not unlike the outer, most savory sections of a traditional butt, loaded with seasoning, bark, and smoke. Oh buddy!

Whilst the coals mature on the pit, gather up a pack of country-style ribs to prep. Country style ribs, by the way and if you haven’t heard, are not ribs at all. They are actually part of the pork butt, which actually isn’t a butt at all, but the front shoulder of the hog. Yeah, butchers have way too much fun I think. Anyways, I hit the meat with a good smattering of Famous Dave Rib Rub, and transferred the pork to the grill, opposite the hot coals. The smoke wood today is the pleasant duo of apple and hickory, and a tantalizing tandem in the smokey arts. Then top the grill with the lid, and turn down the dampers. Govern just enough air in to keep the coals alive, and that smoke wood smoldering with flavor.

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The next step should come easy to a patron of the pit, and that is to draw yourself a cold beverage and position your self accordingly in your BBQ chair, like a solar panel to the sun. These are the days we have dreamed about all the winter long, distant fantasies once privy only to Florida people, and the blessed lucky schmucks of Ecuador. Today, we will all fend off sunburn, and our smoke will rise as equals. And what a beautiful day it was, with nary a remote disturbance in an otherwise endless blue sky. Mallards floating serenely on the pond, and the call of a song bird’s serenade from the whispering pine. I kicked up my feet on an old bucket, and laid my head back a spell, hat pulled over the eyes, and what hecticness there was at once evaporated into the summer-like breezes. A man at peace by his pit. Nothing is quite so fine. Two and a half hours later, I foiled the ribs.

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I foiled the ribs with some apple juice, and let them hence enjoy a sweet steam bath for an hour or so, while I got back to the very important business of loitering in my man chair. Of monitoring sun angles, and judging the song bird try-outs. I may have even nodded off again, and that’s OK. After an hour or so in the foil, and the meat has loosened up a great deal, and the checkered flag is in sight, you’ll want to toast your buns. Yes, goes the extra mile people, and toast your buns. This is your art. Treat it as such! When everything is done, bring it all inside and prepare your sandwich accordingly. Chopping up the savory pork, and maybe mixing it with some of your very favorite sauce, or even hitting them again with a bit more rub. Lay the bite-sized chunks over the toasted bread, piling them together in a magnificent meat melee, and if you’re from South Carolina, or just weird like some of us, go ahead and dob on some cool coleslaw right over the BBQ pork. Man! Press your sandwich together, and commence with the one of the finer culinary pleasures in this life. Be warned tho, sloppy brown chunks may make the acquaintanceship of your lap.

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Hickory-Apple-Smoked Country Style Rib Sandwiches. It sure don’t get much better folks! You hungry now? Man!

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33 responses

  1. Mud

    Y’all gotta another follower for life. It don’t get much better than a grill and a favorite beverage…Natural Light for this pot bellied grill master wanna be…

    April 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

  2. Great post. No idea what famous Dave’s rub is, don’t think we have it in the UK, but sure I can wing something flavoursome. We too are seeing some warmer weather, by our standards at least, so this may well get an outing this weekend. Cheers.

    April 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm

  3. I enjoyed reading this; I love your writing and your pork sounds just as delicious!

    April 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm

  4. YUP! What he said! MAN! POTP, thems good eats!

    April 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm

  5. I love country style ribs, they are actually one of my favorites. I love the ratio of fat to meat, so so tasty. They do make an excellent pulled pork sandwich.

    April 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  6. Funny, I never associated country style ribs with pulled pork – but as usual, you have given me some grist for the proverbial mill. This will definitely get some air time on the pit this summer.

    April 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

  7. Best Photo Ever! I was soooo hungry after I cast my baby blues on that one!

    April 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    • Thanks Mrs. Deerslayer. Yeah, that photo worked out pretty good. I gain a pound every time I look at it. Its nice!

      May 1, 2013 at 9:50 am

  8. Looks soooo delicious!!!

    May 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

  9. Reblogged this on LexaLovesFUNFASHIONFOOD and commented:
    This is a most deliciously looking recipe..I MUST try it soon. Thanks so much! “;-)

    May 1, 2013 at 10:20 pm

  10. Liz

    I do indeed need some ribs RIGHT NOW after reading your post, so thanks for that 😉 80F was nice while it lasted. Will have to pack the flip-flops away for another couple of days I’m afraid. Per usual, enjoyed your prose!

    May 2, 2013 at 12:11 am

    • They were quite delicious, to say the least. Pigs are just good!
      Thanks Liz, you’re comments are always quite encouraging.

      May 2, 2013 at 10:17 am

  11. Looks great. I will try this tomorrow w leftover moose ribs from tonight. Cheers!

    May 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm

  12. Pingback: News from around the BBQ Blogsphere | The Arrogant Swine

  13. This is brilliant!!! I can’t wait to give it a try. I am the only one who buys country ribs from my butcher so I have to call in advance and saves them for me. Thanks for sharing!!!

    May 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    • Thanks Brian. Hopefully we’ll see your take on it in a blog post sometime soon. It works great, as you’ll find out.

      May 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm

  14. Nice!…love bbq ribs.

    May 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm

  15. I love your writing style and I can’t wait to try your recipes as well!

    May 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    • Thank you much. Grilling season is upon you. What are you waiting for!

      May 14, 2013 at 5:13 pm

  16. a VERY entertaining post; just needs “smell-a-vision”… I am so very, very hungry after reading tho!! Here in Kansas City we LOVE to BBQ, so will def be trying this one out! Thanks for stopping by my blog, as well!!

    May 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

  17. I am scared of pork, I am a victim of the myth(!?) that Pork takes the longest to cook but looking at this post, I so wanna try cooking pork! One day……thanks for the inspiration.

    May 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    • You’re welcome. The pig is a most versatile meat to have on hand. Give it a try!

      May 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm

  18. Pingback: Three Hour Pulled Pork Sandwiches | Patrons of the Pit

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