It is hard to beat a well-balanced meal, specially when one component is deep-fried and the other 50 percent of smoked goodness comes out of the Weber grill. A balanced meal is a 50/50 split, right??? I know, it sounds good, and I was going to have some corn out of the garden, but once again, another section of the garden destroyed by the annual August vacation.
Out of the fryer, it just doesn’t get much better than walleye caught this year. I, personally am not a big batter type guy. Too many times I have gone out to eat and although the fish looks perfect, the batter was so thick that the meat below the crisp crust was raw. Despite sending it back several times, they can never get it right, so I pass on the potato flake encrusted temptation, besides my fish better than what they charge $15.00 for.
I will take this fine product of Marshall, Michigan every day of the week over other brands. Drakes has been a staple in the house since I was knee-high and my Aunt Bess was frying up the pike in the campground that my dad and uncle’s caught on Big Bay. Her cast iron skillet was huge and it just added to memories of how good dinners were in the Upper Peninsula. Today though I break out the 5 liter deep fryer from Cabela’s, with the fancy magnetic attaching cord. Instead of making a wet batter, I simply grab a bag or bowl and dry dredge the fillets. When the little round green light comes on, I will give the bag another shake or give the bowl a few flips and into the oil they go.
With the ribs there has been a progression over the years and every time I think I have it nailed, I do something else that just makes them even better. Today’s method starts the night before, and the first step is taking off that sheath off the backside of the rack. I would stay somewhere around 60 percent of the time it comes right off with a little work and we won’t discuss the frustration levels with the other 40% of the time. Then I take one of the big meat trays from Cabela’s and submerge the racks in a combination of apple cider vinegar and water, then cover with foil and put in the fridge over night.
In the morning I put a dozen or so charcoal briquettes in starter chimney and let that go for about 15 to 20 minutes until they glow red, meanwhile I line up more in the Weber grill in what is called the snake method, google and watch the videos that come up, it works really well. My Weber grill is pretty well seasoned so I don’t use a lot of wood chips to get that smoked flavor, and you can just place them on a couple of spots on the charcoal. When my coals are done in the chimney, I add them to one end of the snake and then put on the ribs on the opposite side of the coals. I wait until the coals are all lined up just to be sure there that the ash or dust off the coals are all settled and won’t get on the meat.
I season both sides of the ribs with some McCormick’s Season All, then put lid on the grill and make sure you out the vent holes over the meat. By doing this you will draw all the heat over the meat, and you get a nice indirect heat. I forget them for roughly three hours, then open the grill and flip the rack over. Come back in another three hours and do my final step.
The final step involves the homemade BBQ sauce. I remember when I followed the recipe….once! Then batches just seemed to grow bigger and have tweaked the recipe over time to add a little more heat, to balance out the sweetness. Way back when there was a couple who had a show on the Food Network, the Neely’s. I don’t know where they went but the recipe is still available on the website. The Neely’s BBQ Recipe is the link. If you want some more heat, you can use more fresh cracked pepper and if you like, cayenne powder will add a nice little kick.
Back to the meat, so after about six hours I will coat the top of the rack with the BBQ sauce and then flip into a large piece of tin foil. Add some more sauce to the backside of the ribs and close up the foil and put the lid back on. In roughly two more hours your ribs wont be fall off the bone, but the bones will fall out of the meat, it’s that tinder.
There you go, surf n turf….Lake Erie style!