Birds & Beasts Rub
Birds & Beasts Rub
Chicken, pork, beef, lamb…it does not matter! Whether you are grilling, roasting, or baking, let your favorite bird or beast soak in the savory and sweet flavors of this rub.
For 10 years, we've rubbed these spice blends into everything you can imagine at my restaurant, Chef & the Farmer. They are staples in my kitchen. Familiar but different, Rub it In spice blends should be staples in your pantry, too.
Ingredients: brown sugar, salt, ancho chile, Turkish cumin, mustard, paprika, chipotle pepper, French thyme
Ribs cooked in the oven are not equal to ribs slow smoked on the grill. Still, these ribs are pretty darn good and possible in all kinds of weather. If you can make the smoker situation happen, add the BIRDS & BEASTS rub as well as the SLATHER.
- 2 racks pork baby back ribs
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- ¼ cup BIRDS & BEASTS rub
- 1 cup Chipotle Apple SLATHER
Preparation: In a perfect world you would season these ribs the day before you cook them with the salt and the rubs, and refrigerate them overnight. If you plan ahead, please do that. Otherwise, season them as much in advance as possible.
Just before you plan to cook, preheat your oven to 300. Wrap each rack of ribs separately with foil and seal the foil around the edges. None of the rib flesh should be exposed. Place the foil packets in a single layer on a baking sheet and slide that onto the middle rack of your oven. Cook the ribs for 2 ½ hours. Remove the foil and brush the sauce generously over the ribs. Return the baking sheet to the oven and cook an additional 30 minutes. The SLATHER should caramelize and brown.
Serve the ribs warm with additional sauce for dipping.
I like to serve these with a salsa that makes sense with the season. Sometimes it’s tomato salsa. In the spring it’s often asparagus or sugar snap peas. In the fall or winter, I call on diced roasted sweet potato. Use what you have and what looks tasty. Same goes for the slaw. This recipe is a stripped down version, but you could add other types of cabbage, radishes or summer squash. What’s important is that you have tender shredable pork, a creamy slaw and bright lime-driven salsa. Avocado dressed with lime and salt is a nice touch too.
SERVES: 6 with pork shoulder left over
- Blueberry SAUCED pork shoulder
- Creamy Slaw
- Sliced avocado dressed with lime and kosher salt
- 12-18 corn tortillas
FOR THE PORK
- 4-5 pounds bone in pork boston butt
or shoulder roast
- 3 tablespoons BIRDS & BEASTS rub
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ cup Blueberry BBQ SAUCE
SIMPLE CREAMY SLAW
- 1 medium head Napa or Savoy Cabbage
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraiche
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
EASY TO IMPROVISE SALSA
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 medium jalapeno, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, picked
- Zest of 1 lime
- 3 medium tomatoes, cut into a small dice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Stems from 1 bunch cilantro, finely minced
Cook the pork: Preheat your oven to 300. Rub the pork with the salt and the BIRDS & BEASTS rub. Place the pork in a 6 quart Dutch oven, fat side up, and cover it with a heavy, tight-fitting lid. Slide it onto the middle rack of your oven and cook covered for 5 hours. Take the top off and raise the heat to 500 and roast an additional 30 minutes. The top of the roast should take on a nice brown color and should shred easily with a fork with it’s done.
Let the roast rest for 10-15 minutes after it comes out of the oven. Using two forks, tear the pork into pieces and dress it with the Blueberry SAUCE. Keep the pork warm till your ready to assemble the tacos.
Make the slaw: Quarter the cabbage and remove the cores. Cut the cabbage into thin strips and drop it into a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and toss. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, vinegar and the remaining sugar. Pour that over the cabbage. Toss to incorporate and let that sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Make the salsa: In a medium bowl, combine the minced onion, lime zest and juice. Let that sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Add the tomatoes, jalapeno, salt, honey, cilantro stems and leaves. Stir to incorporate. Let the salsa hang out as a team for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.
Assemble the tacos: Toast the tortillas either in the oven or on both sides over the open flame of your gas burner. I prefer the gas burner method 100 to 1 over every other method.
On the bottom of each tortilla, lay a little pork, followed by slaw, avocado and finally salsa. Eat immediately.