Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cooking with Wine

Can't stop cooking pork. Won't stop cooking pork. This week's mashup with Mad Max paired simple smoked ribs with the knockout good 2009 Headbanger Zinfandel made by Paul Hoffman. Hoffman, that guy above standing next to the con artist formerly known as Bloggle, makes a variety of wines that are approachable, affordable quaffers. This deep, dark, and delicious zin has lots of juicy acidity. Aromas of fresh baked berry pie, rose petals, and cinnamon give way to cherry cola, cedar, and cocoa.  It sells for under $20 (a steal since you asked me) and you can find it at Mondo, Brigtsen's, Ruffino, Theo's, and Whole Foods.

Zinfandel naturally sets off an alarm for pasta all' Amatriciana. That rich, smoky, bacony, spicy sauce that is marinara's hotter cousin that you got to second base with on that one summer night. Or at least that you told your friends you did. But we are trying to cut back on carbs on the home front so the next most logical thing was barbecue ribs. Not only did it work, it did what wine and food pairings are supposed to do, namely compliment each other. The spice and smoke from the ribs was matched by the heft and acidity of the wine. Coincidentally, in that photo Hoffman is holding a bottle of said wine. #1 wine related commentator Meghan ought to be stoked.

Headbanging Baby Back Ribs

1 Rack of Baby Back Ribs
Rub of your choice but the one I make has lots of spicy, smoked Hungarian paprika, dried lemon peel, salt, brown sugar, oregano, cayenne, garlic and onion powder.

Remove the insane in the membrane from the back of the baby backs. Sprinkle rub liberally over both sides of ribs and massage it into the meat. Let sit at room temperature for an hour or so. Meanwhile get a smoker or charcoal grill ready. I like to smoke at 250 degrees for about two hours. You can use whatever wood you like, but I find pecan to be the proverbial bomb, as the kids used to say.

After two hours, place rack on foil, douse with apple juice or even apple cider vinegar, and wrap in foil. Back on the grill for another hour. If you have some of that bbq sauce from last week's rambling post, use it. But you won't need much.


Anonymous said...

Where can you get this rocking zin!!

Anonymous said...

more importantly, where do you find the pecan wood? i've been looking for a source for over a year - please help

Rene said...


Whole Foods has the wine at retail and I imagine any wine shop in state would get it for you if you ask.

Pecan wood I used was left over from Hogs. I believe the team got it in Slidell. Will double check though.

Sir Velvet said...

Pecan wood can sometimes be found at Academy Sports, in their BBQ section.