So, you’ve finally make the big decision to attend the annual rib event but you are a bit cloudy about what actually occurs. No worries, here’s a handy look at the day.
The cooks start on the day before performing their magic on slabs of rib cages picked up from some local butchery. In the past we have tried to have everyone use the same meat, not so much for statistical reasons as to take advantage of a sale at Cub or Rainbow Foods (R.I.P). This year we have returned to the “buy what you will” process. You can expect your ribs to have been picked up at everything from meat markets to Costco. Many ribs will be brined, some will be sans-membrane, most will be rubbed or marinated overnight, none will be pretentious.
Sometime around noon on the day before the event we will start the process of inviting celebrities. This year we had hopes of Katy Perry showing up to entertain the kids but alas she was in town at Skateville just a couple days earlier. We have had high hopes of celebrity attendance every year but have found that they are often committed to other things by the time we can get ahold of them. Even our one nearly-celebrity judge will be performing at the Belagio on Sunday. I think his rhythm section is made up of the line of slot machines next to him.
Your part comes in somewhere between three-ish and five in the afternoon. That’s when the group gathers for chat before the feed. Bring along a dish to pass and some beverage to toss on ice and relax in the backyard. The smokers will be smoking’ away and the cooks will have their serious faces on as they worry that their ribs will finish early or not finish by the 5:00 serving time. Chances are good that a keg of Summit will be in attendance for awhile.
At 5:00 the feeding begins. If you are one of the seven judges (7 cooks x 1 judge each) you approach the anonymous trays. Using some scientific process you carefully appraise each rib and complete a scoresheet- rating the ribs on a variety of characteristics. We initiated the selected-judges process as the numbers of participants rose over the years. Note that our Chili-Fest event in winter has all attendees judge using the full sheet.
If you are not one of “those” judges you attack the big piles of ribs and sides and complete a popular vote sheet after you have had a chance to napkin up a bit. We’ll mark the ribs that we consider having quite a bit of heat for those making up plates for young children. Otherwise it’s a bit of a free-for-all. You’ll know which cooks the eating public knows as they point at the piles trying to figure out which one was made by their friend. Have fun, hopefully you’ll have a couple types of ribs that give you a new taste experience. Although there are prizes the real benefit of the day is time well-spent with friends. We’ll be sure to give you a hearty thank you during the awards, if not often during the afternoon.
At the end of it all the votes are totaled and the yearly trophy is handed out. This year’s trophy is an amazing WWF-style belt. Admire it during the afternoon and cheer the winner!
The 5th Annual Ribathon approaches. The date is set for Sunday, August 24th in our recent smoking home in Eagan. For a specific address to our event, email firstname.lastname@example.org – We would love to have more competitors join the ranks!
Here are the specifics this year:
It is that season – smoke, meat and eating! Join us for the rib fest to test our abilities in creating the best rib possible. Cooks will arrive in the morning, tasting happens at 5. Bring food to share and drinks to imbibe. Join us anytime within this range!
Bring something to share (beverage and/or food item) and your appetite.
Rules for the cooks:
Arrive as early as you need to serve at 5:00.
Find your own ribs-any cut.
All meat must be cooked onsite.
Prep(Cut)/Rub/Brine is okay in advance.
Must cook with coals. No gas or electric cooking.
Sauce can be prepared in advance, no store bought sauce.
Ribs to be served at 5
Every cook will assign one judge to rate all the ribs.
All other attendees will have the option to vote for their overall favorite.
Must be present to win!
With the smell of hickory smoke still filling the beard and a digestive tract that continues to be uncertain about where it has been it’s time to give the summary of this year’s Rib Event. A kinder and gentler set of sauces this year kept us from the problems encountered when ribs are in heat…
Thirty two adults and hoards of smaller creatures attended this year’s last minute event with two dogs, six cooks and a new trophy brought to the event by last year’s winner- Jeff. A new feature this year was the number of people who unexpectedly stopped by to see what kind of bargains we had at the “garage sale”! Seems that to the idle passer-by the driveway full of working smokers had the appearance of a rummage sale. Although, one guy did stop to ask questions about the various kinds of grills we were using to help him make a decision. We gave him a beer and shared our vast knowledge of smokers and grills. Unfortunately, it seems, he is likely to buy a Green Egg. Makes ya wish you had given him a Blue Moon.
Cooking started around 10:00 and continued right up to the judging at 5:00 pm (17:00). Here are the results in the order they were judged:
Doug swore to no secret ingredient with just a hint of heat and some pre-brining.
Brad went with a 1-2-3 rub-glaze-mop with a hint of mint and bourbon.
Jeff went with a bit of heat in his rub with a final mop to kick things a bit further.
Isaac went with a marinade and mop using habanero peppers and pears. He also tried a hybrid smoker, mini grill treatment.
Kyle forsook the smoker altogether and went with the slow, dry, fall-off-the-rib treatment on the Weber.
Trevor went for the long smoker treatment with a bit of root beer in the sauce, not having any cola around the house.
In the end Jeff took the popular vote and the Judges Overall Award. He is seen at the left checking out the potential changes in the barometric pressure that might impact the timing of the mop sauce. To complete the sweep he also walked away with the most heat nod from the judges. Isaac is still wondering how his habaneros ended up in second heat. Hard to tell what will happen when ribs are in heat.
Nonetheless, all ribs were deemed more than edible with Kyle taking second overall and Isaac third. For those doing the stats for the event baby backs were the ribs of the day thanks to a sale at Rainbow Foods although we noted that Cub Foods has ribs on sale this week as well. Only two of the contestants made spare ribs.
The day was sunny and breezy, perfect to keep the coals alight and the games fun. The usual mix of beverages arrived with the special addition of some Kinship IPA tapped in the garage ‘frig. Side dishes showed up as well with the winner being Missy’s remarkable seven layer bars. However, the hit of the day seemed to be Isaac’s retro Schmidt Beer aluminum cooler with built-in bottle opener. Adam was unable to join us a a cook this year but made a fine addition to the judging staff. Thanks to those who filled in as judges. Serious work for the seriously committed.
As soon as we can pry it from them we’ll put the top three recipe’s on the site. Note that there are no recipes posted from last year’s winners. Hmmm…
In a hasty short notice fashion we are formally announcing our annual Rib Cook-off the weekend of June 29. The Saturday event will be the same as before with a group of judges deciding on the winners in a series of categories and the public choosing the ribs of the people. No big rule changes this year with the exception that meat may arrive rubbed and marinated. Should be fun, if you are attending bring along a side dish or some beverage to share. Eating and judging begins at 5:00 with people beginning to arrive by mid-afternoon.
Look for items from the event here. The group is warming up with a discussion of the rules and such at the Blue Door this week. We’ll get a posting up as soon as we can.
With the rush of the yearly Chili Cookoff Event behind us and the digestive systems back on track it might be good to give the highlights of the evening and tell the tale of the seventh annual event. Imagine that, out first post for this yearly celebration described a get together at Trevor and Missy’s place with six chilies and one judge (Scott).
Let’s do this in order. The group gathered as the bakery closed. The cooks came in the back door and slipped their chili into a soup warmer. Three warmers gave NINE chilies all numbered anonymously and waiting for the crowd. Guests started arriving with a six pack of beer/ cider/ soda/ water with some folks walking through the door with a side dish. Isaac navigated the closing of the restaurant inviting the last couple customers to join us for the event. Somehow none took him up.
The crowd is always a great mix of ages, lifestyles, occupations, and connections to the cooks. We’ve had some issues with the concrete sequential nature of the crowd in the past with many somehow needing to start with chili number one and tending to drain the lower numbered buckets first. The instructions to dig in were given with an extra suggestion to start anywhere and a quick plug for GS cookie sales. Both the chili eating and the cookie sales went well.
Here’s some details on the nine chilies (in no particular order)
Chili Comments and Ingredients
Adam claims that his secret ingredient was tomatoes
This chili have homemade salsa and mole sauce
Carson’s was the guest chili inspired by his dad’s chili it boasted beer and tabasco
Doug often has the most heat. This year he worked with the amazing Habeneros
Isaac stepped up the meats using chirizo, turkey, beef combined with great northerns
Jeff went for Texas style chile using chunks of amazing brisket
Kyle went with ground turkey and plenty of heat (won the heat award)
Trevor’s winning entry added hominy and pumkin among other surprises
The Turtle donated at great chili made by one of their cooks
Eating started at six with the results announced around eight. All chilies went well with nearly equal amounts of each taken during the night. Something for everyone! Trevor won the event this year with Kyle winning the heat category.
The cornbreads were a new event this year and will certainly be continued next year. Here’s some details on the selections. Just like the chilies, each one was unique and well eaten.
Cornbread Comments and Ingredients
Joan made the mix with creamed corn and olives
Lisa baked the bread in cast iron with jalepenos
Macenzee blended cheddar cheese, creamed corn, and Jalepenos
Missy had pumkin puree added to the bread
Pam slipped in nutmeg and walnuts
Trina used pumkin bread spices including ginger to make a sweet bread
Thanks to everyone who showed up.
Hope to see all of you at the Ribfest event next summer.
The 2013 ManCuisine ChiliFest is in the books! Another great turnout and easily the best combination of chilies we have seen yet. Nine entries including eight member entries and an invited guest covered the whole range from ground beef wonder through big chunk brisket. Nothing this year was silly hot but all the chilies had some kind of heat meets flavor. The drawing for next year’s guest gave the nod to Brandon, we’ll look forward to his creation
The winning recipe this year was Trevor’s with his Chili taking all categories but heat., The heat category went to Kyle with his ground turkey extravaganza. Trevor’s chili was a modification of last year’s continuing his hominy along with beans and a mad mixture of ingredients including rib meat that somehow tasted like chicken, but then, doesn’t everything. Trevor’s winning recipe is below.
In addition to the chilies, packets of corn bread were distributed to the spouse/ significant others and each hacked the basic recipe to provide corn breads ranging from great classic jalapeño pepper recipes to one with ginger and pumpkin spices. All were wonderful and the corn bread challenge will certainly become a yearly event.
The Turtle Bread Company on 42nd was a great host again this year. thanks for all the support. Please consider the Turtle Bakery sometime for a great breakfast or for some good coffee and bakery goods when you are near any of their locations.
Winning Chili 2013
2 lbs boneless pork rib, cubed
1 lb smoked Bacon
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (don’t drain)
1 large can of hominy, drained
1 can dark kidney beans, drained
1 can yellow corn
10 diced mini sweet peppers
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large red onion, large chunks
3 jalapeños in adobo sauce, diced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 packet Sazon Goya powder
Pumpkin purée (half can)
chipotle chile powder
cayenne chile powder
oregano (mexican, common, or both)
Much like the overture to a fine symphony Adam’s Eagan patio was tense as smokers were started and each of the seven contestants moved pork to fire. The smell of hickory, cherry and apple blended with the aroma of cumin, tomato, and Dr. Pepper providing brief scents of what was to follow. Indeed, three of the seven admitted to using soda pop in their recipe. Five of the seven had rubs of some complexity beyond salt and pepper and all had some form of magic bullet sauce. The place looked like a bullet strewn CSI Miami site by the time it was over- red sauces of a variety of consistencies all over the tarmac. Could have been a Sam Peckinpaw set after filming was completed for the day.
Our day began around 10:00 am with judging starting just ahead of 5:00 pm. Seven invited judges and our Judge Emeritus, Scott, took their time and slowly considered one rib from each of the contestants. As they began their work the other attendees made their way through the piles of ribs to give a vote in the Best of Ribs Popular Vote category. Kind of like the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. This is the first year we have split off the two awards. In the past we had observed the seriousness and comments of some of the judges and felt we needed to provide a means of supporting their earnest sincerity.
Isaac won the popular vote this year along with the Best Heat category. It was somewhat surprising to many that a fairly inflammatory sauce could win the hearts of the masses. But, nonetheless, Isaac’s Scandinavian confidence in the public won him the category. Amazing that a slightly socialist sauce would win in this political climate. It should be noted that the platter of ribs provided to the popular vote judges was marked “HOT” to save small children and Norwegians in attendance from being exposed to the heat of the moment. The winning popular smoker was the oldest of the collection. Only four letters of the Brinkman label can still be seen.
The Overall Winner this year was Jeff. As in the past, his secret was in the sauce and although he was a bit candid about the ingredients he did suggest the use of root beer had something to do with the victory. Jeff won our first rib contest using an electric smoker. It was good to see him back in the polyaromatic hydrocarbon world. Being a newlywed, Jeff had the newest smoker- a gift from two of the other contestants. Impressive ribs from an impressive contestant in an impressive device! This year’s trophy was again provided by Doug. Talk of a traveling trophy in the form of a WWF belt was mentioned with Adam knowing the location of a company that makes them.
For those counting, the author stayed true to his, “I make ribs I enjoy” and placed near or at the bottom of the competition again. Also true to form, the ribs he though were best did not place this year. Yet another reason for him to avoid fantasy football leagues. Nonetheless, it was a great day with plenty of good food, two home-brews, many flavors of donated beverages and plenty of sun. Really looking forward to next year’s event.
Preparations have begun for the rib competition on September 2. Adam has completed brewing a batch of barley pop at Vine Park in St. Paul and Brad and Kyle have just completed a batch of English Bitters on the deck. Judging this year will be in two categories. Each of the ManCuisine contestants has been invited to bring one judge that they feel will apply great energy to giving an inspired and fair judgement on the ribs. In addition all attendees will complete a scoresheet to select the winner in the “Ribs of the proletariat” award. Sorta like the Academy and Golden Globe awards?
Anyway, while moving a large playground this weekend we had a time to talk trash about each other’s rib recipes. Seems that nobody is satisfied with what is coming off the grill yet. Suggestions still welcomed.
cui·sine - /kwəˈzēn/ - noun:
a style or method of cooking, especially as characteristic of a particular country, region, or establishment.
man - /man/ - noun:
a human being of either sex; a person.
mancuisine - /manˈkwəˈzēn/:
a human being who enjoys eating and writing about a style or method of cooking, especially as the distinctive attributes of the Twin Cities establishments of character.
mancuisine is a group of people who get together to check out new [and old] places, eat great food, drink wonderful beer, and compete with each other with our cooking.