Charred Rib Sandwich

A rib sandwich and pasta salad bowl in front of a glass and a bottle of Apothic Red

Ingredients

Ribs

  • 1 rack pork back ribs
  • Spice mix:
    • 2 tbsp chili powder
    • 2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
    • ¼ tsp onion powder
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • ½ tsp ground black pepper
    • ½ tsp celery salt
    • 1 tsp granulated white sugar
    • 1 tbsp kosher salt 12x3lbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar

Macaroni salad

  • 1 ½ cups elbow macaroni
  • ½ – ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 whole poblano pepper (any mild pepper that is not too bitter will do nicely)
  • 1 ½ tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you can find these jars in your local grocery store)

Caramelized onions

  • 2-3 large Vidalia onions (or any yellow or white onion variety)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Sandwich

  • 2 whole large onion
  • Bread and butter pickles – to taste
  • 1-2 hoagie bun
 

Prepare

Rib seasoning prep

  1. Mix all the spices together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. If possible, pull the membrane off the back of the ribs. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Then, season both sides with the spice mixture.
  3. Set aside in an airtight container in the fridge overnight so it can cure/marinade.

Charred pepper prep

  1. Poke your poblano pepper with a knife in multiple spots. If you have a gas burner, set it to high. Holding the pepper with tongs, rotate and char the pepper over the burner until it has blackened all over.
  2. If you don’t have a gas burner, preheat your oven to 450F and place the pepper in for 30 minutes.
  3. Once the pepper has turned black, take it out of the oven and place it in a plastic bag or airtight container so it can continue to steam.
  4. When the pepper has cooled down enough to touch, rub off the charred skin with your hands or a paper towel. Slice the pepper in half and remove the seeds. Roughly chop the pepper and set aside.

Rib baking prep

  1. Preheat the oven to 250F (if you already had the oven on for the poblano peppers, wait for the temperature to lower to 250F).
  2. Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil and set it on a wire rack.
  3. Fill the sheet pan/ baking dish with vinegar to ½ inch in depth. Place a metal rack onto the baking dish, above the vinegar. Place the foiled ribs onto the rack.
  4. Bake for 4 hours or until you notice the meat has shrunken and has begun to peel back from the bones. Then raise the oven temperature to 400F and remove the foil for the rest of the cooking time. Baste the ribs by covering the top and bottom with BBQ sauce liberally. Cook for another 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with more sauce. Cook until the sauce has begun to darken and caramelize. Remove from the oven and let the ribs rest for 15 minutes.

Caramelized onion prep

  1. Peel the onions and slice them thinly lengthwise.
  2. Add in oil to thinly coat the pan and turn up the heat to medium. Add the onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook them down until they are soft and dark brown, anywhere from 30min to an hour depending on the quantity of onions you have. Once it has caramelized to your liking, take the pan off the heat and add in 1 tbsp of unsalted butter. Stir to melt the butter in the residual heat, and mix well to combine.

Macaroni Salad

  1. While the ribs are baking, boil a pot of water for the macaroni. Follow instructions on the package for al dente pasta.
  2. Drain the pasta and set aside in a bowl, allowing the macaroni to cool down to room temperature.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, minced chipotle and poblano peppers in a sauce bowl. Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  4. Mix the sauce and macaroni pasta together in a serving bowl until well combined.

Finish & Serve

  1. When you’re ready to serve, cut the rib rack in half, or to the same length as your bun.
  2. Split your bun open and smear caramelized onions on the bottom half of the bun, and BBQ sauce on the top half.
  3. Place the ribs upside down on top of the onions and top with pickles. Place the top bun on the ribs and press the bread down firmly with your palm and pull the rib bones out. We recommend performing this last step in front of a large group of friends for the ultimate WOW factor.
  4. Serve your rib sandwich alongside a generous helping of the smoky macaroni salad, and a glass of Apothic Red for an unforgettable meal.

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