Sunday, June 5, 2011

Adam Might Want His Back After This

Today the talented, though  as you'll see -- misguided, Mark Terry joins us here for a meaty discussion. Among other things Mark is a talented, multi-published author, a black belt in Karate, and a man's man that rarely if ever misses a meal. Problem is he live up in Michigan and not down here in Texas, therefore I'll forgive him of his flawed opinions on the delicacy that is ribs.

Ribs I Have Known and Loved
By Mark Terry

Dare I engage the Meat Man on the topic of ribs? Not only the Meat Man, but a Texas Meat Man?

I have long had a love affair with ribs, primarily pork ribs. Yes, beef ribs will do, but really, if you’re going to have ribs, go pork.

My friends, the word “succulent” was invented to describe barbeque ribs. From the Latin “succu,” the word for “pig,” and “lent,” the word for “grease smeared on my face.” Okay, I’m lying. What do you care?

Do you baste your BBQ sauce and let it get crunchy? Or do you dip your ribs afterwards?

Homemade sauce? Or out of a bottle?

These are fighting words, you know. Remember the Alamo? I’m sure there was an argument about dry rubs in there somewhere.

Here’s one to bring out the six-guns and Shiner Bock (although, I’m sorry, my preference is Sam Adams) – parboil or slow roast?

Dear God, we parboil here in the Terry household and that may very well be a sin against humanity, but I have not mastered the slow roast, nor developed the patience – that’s why God invented restaurants.

And here’s one to get the Meat Man all riled up: my favorite place for ribs here in Oxford, Michigan is an Italian restaurant, Italia Gardens, not far from my house. Yes, I like them with aside of fettuccini alfredo.

I want the meat to fall off the bone and I want to pick up the ribs and eat them with my fingers. Use a fork? What are you a philistine?

What say you, Meat aficionados? Pork versus beef? What’s your favorite rib? Where’s your favorite rib joint? What’s your favorite side dish? (And yes, beer can be a side dish when discussing ribs and other meats. Totally acceptable).

Where ... O ... where do I start?

I dwell here in the heart of cattle country. I lay my head each night in the very city where the famed and revered Oprah stood trial for disparaging beef's good name.

And so it almost seems blasphemous to say so but when it comes to ribs, pork ribs are the better option. Not that I'll turn down a meaty Fred Flinstone size rack of beef ribs. 

Sadly, that is the only place where me and Mr. Terry can agree for he is  apparently taken onto too many judo chop to the head or let the sun beat down on his shiny dome one day to many for the rest of his meat theories are the words of a salad eater.

A genuine MEAT MAN doesn't simply make his own sauce -- HE CREATES it.

And did Mr Terry dare say dry rub and crunchy? Ribs are like sex. They are supposed to be moist, sloppy and yes a little dirty. There is no place for dry and crunchy between the sheets nor on a rib platter.

The Alamo? I have stood on that hallowed ground. I touched the very dirt where Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William B TRAVIS shed their blood. Blood that leached into the Texas soil. Blood that created a nation. A nation that later acquiesced to join the United States. And in that great State one will find a little town named Shiner. In that town one will find Spoetzl brewery the make of Shiner Bock. 

To drink anything less, is nothing more than to spit upon the grave of Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and yes William B TRAVIS.

Parboil? I'd rather be stabbed me through the heart with an asparagus spear than to boil my meat. Oh sure you can boil kielbasa in beer, but ribs? No my friends that is a crime on par with eating ribs at an Italian joint with glorified noodles for the side dish.

Who would do such a thing?

Yes, Mark Terry, but you know what they say about the brilliant minded of the world. Well, Mark happens to be one of those brilliant minded and talented souls, so forgive him his culinary trespasses and instead, indulge in the stories he cooks up.

Mark is the author of the the Derek Stillwater novels. The latest installment, THE VALLEY OF SHADOWS will be available June 7th, that's Tuesday if you were too cheap to buy a calender this year. Buy it -- Read it -- you won't be sorry.

And don't forget to drop a comment on your rib thoughts. Mark will no doubt be stopping in when he can to comment back as will I.


  1. This is cool!! I have never been a big fan of ribs, not sure why we used to eat them when my grandma would make them growing up. I think you should do an interview with me and let me try and defend salads :) hahaha

  2. I just had ribs last night at Tony Roma's. A half slab of baby back ribs (pork), slow roasted, crusty with sauce. Sides of coleslaw and BBQ beans. Mmmmmm.

    P.S. Who the HELL eats ribs with a fork? Commies, that's who.

  3. Ah. At long last we get to the deep, darkest hidey-hole (ahem) of The Meat Man's psyche. It's all about sex, to wit: "Ribs are like sex. They are supposed to be moist, sloppy and yes a little dirty."

    Who am I to argue with the sex imagery, but now we understand that The Meat Man's obsession with, er, MEAT, is more Freudian in nature, that, alas, he is apparently repressing and transferring Oedipal feelings toward protein.

    Come, Travis, lay down on the couch. Relax. Let's talk about your mother.

  4. Phats. You need to get out more. There's a rib recipe out there you'll love.

  5. Debra the Seeker,
    I rather like crusty as well (and wet and sloppy, for that matter). And with ribs, coleslaw, of course, and corn on the cob, dripping with butter.

  6. I'm with Mark 100% ... ribs mean pork ribs. And I'm from Michigan too, but I've lived and eaten all over the South (Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Florida), so I know a bit of what I speak. Beef ribs ... eh, sure, if there's no swine available. But there's a reason pigs were blessed with a thick layer of internal fat just under the skin—they're self-basting from birth.

  7. I bet Jon wants sliced red tomatoes straight from the garden as a side dish.

  8. 1. Pork ribs...YES!
    2. Sam Adams with BBQ...NO! Hoppy beer...I do not like it, Sam-I-Am. Esp. not with tangy sweet ribs. Shiner Bock all the way.
    3. Dry Rub...YES! But not in place of sauce. Only to flavor the meat all the way through while it...
    4. SLOW COOKS. Not negociable.

  9. Okay, Mark and Travis are probably going to shoot me for this, but I've never been a fan of ribs. In fact, I refuse to eat 'em. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for eating meat (and lots of it). But ribs fall into the category of messy food, and that's one thing I do not abide. The only exception to this rule is hot wings (which ironically are not wings at all). I don't like difficult food, and having to wipe my hands and face after every bite just irritates the crap out of me.

    Having said this, I will definitely be picking up Mark's book. He is indeed a talented author.

    And Travis, if it's any consolation I do not partake of the leafy green demon that is lettuce. I am a willing participant in the religion that follows the precepts you've put forth here on this blog. I only pray you can forgive my unwillingness to bathe my hands and face in bbq sauce.

  10. Eric,

    What you need is more beer. A six pack or two of Shiner and you'll forget all about the mess.

  11. Laurel, Dry rubs have their place, brisket for one, and truthfully I've had the ribs of others with dry rubs but I don't make them that way.

  12. Jon, I like how you think, but Mark is claiming you to be a sinner who loved a fresh veggie from the garden. Say it ain't so.

  13. Mark, Good food and good sex are two of life's simpler pleasures. I'm not going to run from that fact. Hell, I embrace it.

  14. Debra, I will never understand why everyone taints a good BBQ meal with vile coleslaw.

  15. Phats I propose a wager. The first time my beloved Huskers meet your Boilermakers on the gridiron we put this on the table. If my Huskers lose you have free reign to post a virtues of salad diatribe on this blog, and when your Boilermakers go down I get to post a meat loving blog at your joint.


  16. Laurel,
    I ain't that picky. My beer preferences lean toward the lighter, whiter stuff - Corona, Landshark, John Adams Cherry Wheat and others, Rolling Rock.

  17. Erik- life is messy. You just have to drop your inhibitions!

  18. I don't like bbq. But my son is quite the aficionado. And I do like BEER, so I'm not a total loss.

  19. LOL, ahhh I see. From what both are saying, I need to get more drunk before eating ribs and all will be well.

  20. Aawwww, Sex Scenes - you don't like BBQ? Egad.

  21. It's hard to type because I'm laughing so hard... But even though I lived in Michigan, as well as all around the country, no one makes barbeque like Texans. In fact, when I lived in the Northwest, I'd send my father here in the Panhandle a cooler with fresh salmon, he'd send it back full of barbeque.

    Now I like both beef and pork ribs, but I think that the pork just cooks up better. And the whole point of ribs, no matter how they got cooked, is that you don't use a fork (GASP!) and they are messy, as Travis alludes, much like sex. Napkins, wet paper towels, bibs, whatever is necessary to enjoy them properly - with Shiner.

    So I'll have to take Travis's side on this one.

  22. Val,
    I have noticed on my visits to Texas, that there's pretty much a BBQ place on every corner (with a tex-mex place in between, which does strike me as being far more realistic than "Field of Dreams": "Is this heaven?" "No, Texas.")

    And for the record, when we spent some time in Texas for my nephew's wedding a couple years ago we picked up a refrigerator magnet that says: Life's Too Short Not To Live It As A Texan.

  23. I came over from Travis Erwin's other blog cos he said something about sexual psychotherapy?!!? Have I missed it?? I brought a cucumber as stated on the invite.


    Take care

  24. @ Travis: That is a very unfair bet. I hear tell that they let smart boys on the Purdue football team. Why can't you just come out and say It'll never happen?

  25. You haven't figured out yet that with Travis "food" is "sexual psychotherapy?"

  26. Pork vs beef??? When will be discussing fish? :) (Oh, and I always parboil ribs before throwing them on the grill)

  27. Laurel- Apparently you don't know much about Boilermaker football ;) Huskers will find it a lot harder in the tough big ten compared to the weak big 12.

    Mark- I used to eat ribs as a kid, I am the rebel that visits here I prefer salads

  28. I was supposed to be fasting tonight. This has not made it easy.

  29. Neither one of you have done any real barbecuing until you have tasted rat ribs and squirrel steaks. Cooked slow and low Detroit style.

  30. lettuce can be scary with it's nooks & crannys...hiding...who knows WHAT??!!

    Word Verification today: "TRANNY" No Shit! LOL!

    Aloha from Waikiki :)

    Comfort Spiral




  31. Travis' wife says:

    I must chime in by saying...we are having ribs tonight if its going to be sloppy and a little bit dirty! I just did not realize that's what it took. Bar-B-Q at the Erwin's on the back porch with a stocked beer bar.

  32. All right, I grew up on the East Coast so I can hear the snickering when I expound on Bar-be-Que. Or is it BBQ or Barbie-Cue, which is probably a director's order in a slut film? Let's just finish this argument here: What we've got that you don't have is crabs. Which is why the state slogan for Maryland is "Maryland is for Crabs."
    Yep, the blue fin type and not what your dirty mind thought of.
    The perfect rib Barbie-Cue (always pork) is achieved through the slow roast, 300 degrees preferable, for a few hours. How many hours depends on your work schedule, drinking habits and whether you have mild forgetfulness.
    After two hours, drain the mucus. Okay, it's really water and fat but hey, is there a difference?
    Apply Bar-Bee-Cur sauce and continue slow cook for another 1/2 hour or 1 hour, if you manage to remember you are cooking things.

    Now, meat man, here's the kicker.
    Take a jug of Open Pit BBBQ sauce and add
    1 onion
    5 to 7 jalapenos
    10 tomatoes
    2 green peppers
    two or three tons of cilantro to taste
    1 pack of celery
    various other spices on hand although cinnamon is not in the same food group.

    Anyway, the sauce should be green...

  33. And as another thing...

    If I could, I would issue a Fatwa against boiling ribs. But seeing how they are the pork type, it might leave this open to intense theological discussion.

    Is it possible to incorrectly cook food that you are not allowed to eat?

    Travis, as our most recent deserter of the cause of general apathy and agnosticism, this is a pressing issue.

    Lead us to the light!

  34. I have to say I'm not HUGE on ribs, but I had such a hankering for them a while back! I bought some of the precooked, ready to eat kind from the local grocery store, SO looking forward to the experience, and they were...bland. It was SUCH a disappointment!
    Gotta find me a good rib joint!