Tag: Barbecue

Barbecued ribs using an Instant Pot

Barbecued ribs using an Instant Pot

You can make really good barbecued ribs in about an hour using your Instant Pot to cook the ribs, and a gas grill or your oven to brown them. Some people have suggested using cider or apple juice as the cooking liquid in the Instant Pot pressure cooker, but we never found it made much different. Instead, we use a couple of aromatic spices added to the cooking water: garlic and bay leaves.

Barbecue aficionados frown on cooking the ribs until they fall off the bone. They should be cooked but cohesive.

  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs, cut in half
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 2 bay leaves

raw ribs in pot

  1. Place the ingredients in the Instant Pot, seal and cook on Manual for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat your gas grill on high
  3. Release the pressure and take the ribs out and put on a platter to carry to your barbecue grill. Or, place them on a foil lined cookie sheet to put in the oven.

Using a gas grill

half barbecued

  1. Turn the middle burner off, and turn the outer 2 burners to medium. Lay the ribs on the grill over the middle section, and brush with your favorite barbecue sauce.
  2. After 15 minutes, turn, and brush the other side.
  3. Cook about another 15 minutes, or until the sauce begins to caramelize.

Using your oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚
  2. Brush the top of the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce and cook for 15 minutes,
  3. Turn, brush the other side and cook for about 15 minutes.
  4. If the sauce hasn’t become bubbly, put under the broiler for 5 more minutes.

barbecued on platter

Serving

Cut the ribs apart and serve on a platter. (See above.)

Leftovers

Don’t worry about buying too much pork. You can probably do 2 racks at a time if you wanted. And once it is cooled, refrigerate it. The next day, just cut off the pork and cut it up a bit. It makes great pulled pork sandwiches. Just put some on a bun, add some barbecue sauce and heat it up for 30 seconds in the microwave.

pulled pork sammich

hash browns and corn

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B-ACK yard Barbecue

B-ACK yard Barbecue

We haven’t  been back to this great barbecue spot on Straight Wharf since they opened in 2014, and we’re glad we did. The food is much better and the menu a bit bigger: they added  Burnt Ends. The service is extremely good as well, as our waiter checked with us at least 4-5 times during our meal.

To some extent, large groups will have more choices, because you can order a platter of each of their specialties and shared around the table.  For two people, there are two options: the  Selfie Special, which gives you two meats and two side dishes and warm rolls for $28. The other option is to just order a half a pound of a couple of the meats and get one or two sides as you wish.

The main barbecue meat choices on the menu are

  • Smoked kielbasa
  • Pulled pork
  • Pork ribs (half or full rack)
  • Half roast chicken
  • Chopped brisket
  • Sliced brisket
  • Beef burnt ends

The side dishes include baked beans, coleslaw, mac and cheese, grilled asparagus, Corn bread, potato salad, French fries, pickled vegetables, and stewed greens. You can also get sandwiches of any of these meats.

ribs

We decided on a half rack of pork ribs, a half pound of burnt ends and coleslaw. We probably should have rounded this out with fries or cornbread, but there was plenty of food there just as it was.

burnt ends

Our beers came nearly instantly, and the meats maybe 5-6 minutes later. There are 4 sauces on the table, Sweet, Golden (mustard like), hot and vinegar (to simulate North Carolina style). All were good, and even the “hot” sauce was not really all that hot.

crowdThe informal atmosphere includes several large screen TVs showing whatever sport is playing at the time,  but the crowd is relatively calm and families will feel welcome here.

Sometimes the most unassuming places will end up being some of the best on the island, and that is certainly true here. The pork and beef were tender and juicy and perfectly cooked. What more can you ask? Our bill with 3 beers and tax, but before tip was only $78. A delicious bargain!

Bobby Q’s opens in Norwalk

Bobby Q’s opens in Norwalk

TablesBobby Q’s barbecue restaurant, now called “Bobby Q’s Cue and Co,” opened this fall in Norwalk after a year-long drought while they moved from Westport to Norwalk. The space is much larger and even on an (early) Saturday evening, there were plenty of tables. And there were still tables when we left. Despite early rumors of slow service, we found the service excellent, friendly and attentive.

The menu is built around barbecue: ribs, brisket, chicken and sausage, although they have burgers, salmon, skirt steak, and shrimp and grits as well as appetizers, salads and flat bread.

nachosWe started by sharing their classic BBQ Nachos ($11), an outstanding mixture of tortilla chips, pulled pork, jack and cheddar cheese. For $3 more you can add beans, sour cream, guacamole and pickled jalapenos. We got the non-adorned version and found it outstanding and way more than 2 could eat as an appetizer. The pork was plentiful and tender and there was substantial melted cheese as well.

For our main courses we each got a half rack of Baby Back Ribs served on a platter with beans and slaw ($19). Even the beans had pieces of pork in them!  And for variety we got one order of truly excellent French fries for just $4. The fries were hot and fresh, with plenty of potatoey flavor.

Peanut butter smoresAnd for dessert, we split the Peanut Butter Cup S’Mores ($8), which turned out to be melted peanut butter cups in a cast iron pan, topped with browned small marshmallows, and served with graham crackers and pretzels for dipping.  This may be a bit corny, but it was really delicious.

As to the ribs themselves, they were baby back that were baked and sauced, but not actually barbecued. This is probably why they were so tough. The ribs were not separated, but served with a giant steak knife you could use to separate them. This was no easy maneuver: they were not tender and even hacking off some pork was difficult. Apparently, you are supposed to know that the St Louis Ribs (which are not available on a platter) are the real barbecued ones. Remember that.

burnt endsThe owner came by to see how we were doing, and while we praised everything else, we told him the ribs were really tough.  He immediately offered to replace them with new ones, but we decided that statistically speaking if two were tough, the next two would be too. Instead, we ordered and shared a plate of Beef Burnt Ends, which were tender and delicious. They are, however, only available in limited quantities. But let me emphasize that the owner did not charge us for either the ribs or the burnt ends, which is an outstanding way to build your customer base.

But looking back through Yelp reviews, this seems to be a recurring problem. We recommend you consider the St Louis ribs or the burnt ends instead.

Atlas BBQ and Fish: best barbecue on the island

Atlas BBQ and Fish: best barbecue on the island

Atlas Barbecue and Fish
Atlas Barbecue and Fish

Atlas BBQ and Fish opened in late June on Pleasant St, and thus missed being in this year’s island restaurant guides. However, when people heard that it had the same proprietors (Brandt and Gabrielle Gould) as the late, lamented Cambridge Street, customers began to come anyway. And it is safe to say that this new establishment offers the island’s best barbecue in somewhat fancier surroundings than their first restaurant.

Table setting
Table setting

Atlas BBQ and Fish has just a small sign and is easy to miss, but it is right next to the Island Pharmacy and across the street from the side entrance to the new Stop and Shop building. There is parking in front and alongside the building.

Like most barbecues, you can easily order a lot more food that you can eat. They offer a platter with brisket, ribs and pulled pork for $30, but you won’t be able to finish it all. You are better off ordering one of their seafood appetizers and one of the pork dishes.

Lobster salad
Lobster salad

We ordered a delicious lobster salad with orange, pineapple and lemon and Bibb lettuce ($20). The fruit flavors went very well with the lobster and overall it was quite successful.

Pork bellyWe were determined to have the pork belly ($16), but worried that it might be too similar to the ribs, but it was quite different. The sauce was made from honey and pineapple, and served with grilled pineapple and was excellent.

Soked Wet Sauced barbecued ribs
Soked Wet Sauced barbecued ribs

We both ordered the Smoked, then Wet Sauced Barbecued Ribs ($26), which were served with a cheese biscuit, Napa slaw, Red Beans and Rice, and half a grilled banana. These were the tenderest ribs we’ve had on the island, and probably anywhere and we’ll be sure to come back just to have them again.

Tender ribs cut open
Tender ribs cut open

Our bill for 2, with 2 drinks and tax but before tip was $115.

We can’t say enough good things about the food at Atlas: the ribs are simply excellent. They also offer Branzino, Swordfish and Red Snapper, but we’ll probably continue to go for the barbecue.

Our only real suggestion is that they provide a “boneyard” discard plate.

wipe pillThe finishing touch is a clever little pill that you drop into a cup of warm water and it expands into a wet wipe. That was a fun ending to the meal!

 

Smoked Wet Sauced barbecued ribs
Smoked Wet Sauced barbecued ribs