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John Golden

John Golden writes about food and has a highly opinionated blog, The Golden Dish.

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Posted: May 26, 2014

Memorial Day: Anatomy of a barbecue menu, step by step

Written by: John Golden

Memorial Day Barbecue.  I start my preparations early in the morning by making Magic Dust.  No it’s not a hallucinogenic but rather the special spice rub that pit-master Mike Mills uses on just about everything at his restaurant, 17th Street Barbecue  in Murphysboro, Ill.  It’s a wonderful blend of paprika, salt sugar, mustard powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, black pepper and garlic granules.  You can add a touch of cayenne if you like it slightly hot.

The weather remained fine and we were able to eat on the terrace, which is just starting to fill in with flowers; full bloom at least a month away

The weather remained fine and we were able to eat on the terrace, which is just starting to fill in with flowers; full bloom at least a month away

 

Prepping starts with spice rub; ribs are ready for the  grill and long smoking and cook period

Prepping starts with spice rub; ribs are ready for the grill and long smoking and cook period

Most of the recipes are adapted from Mills’ book, Peace, Love and Barbecue. The menu is barbecued ribs with Apple City Barbecue Sauce, macaroni and cheese, pit-baked barbecued beans, Cole slaw with cucumbers in a boiled vinegar-sugar-mustard dressing, cornbread with sorghum butter and rhubarb pie with homemade vanilla ice cream.  It’s an all-day feat of prepping and cooking.  Dinner was set up to eat out on the terrace but the weather is iffy most of the day–the rain stayed in  the west, and I could see the storm clouds in the distance.  It was a bit chilly for outdoor dining but with sweater shrugs we were comfortable.

I’ll post the recipes on Wednesday’s Golden Dish.  Use these as a guide for your own barbecues the summer long.  I’ll give tips and procedures and you can adapt to suit.

Happy barbecuing! Here’s how my dinner unfolded–started prep work at 8:00 am and finished at 6:00 pm.

The dough for the pie ready to roll out and these perfect Araucana eggs for the custard

The dough for the pie ready to roll out and these perfect Araucana eggs for the custard

The ideal temperature for smoking the ribs is 300 degrees; the ribs after about 1 hour of cooking--sprayed with apple juice to stay moist

The ideal temperature for smoking the ribs is 300 degrees; the ribs after about 1 hour of cooking–sprayed with apple juice to stay moist

The ice cream is done, ready to be served with the pie

The ice cream is done, ready to be served with the pie

The beans, before and after

The beans, before and after

Black skillet cornbread and slaw with cucumbers

Black skillet cornbread and slaw with cucumbers

The ribs are done; 3 different kinds were used--St. Louis, baby backs and country-style shoulder ribs

The ribs are done; 3 different kinds were used–St. Louis, baby backs and country-style shoulder ribs

Plated, the deed is done!

Plated, the deed is done!

 

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