Episode One: Black’s Barbecue, Lockhart, and BBQ Beef Ribs
It’s here! Dudes, it’s finally here! I’m so excited! You know how when you’ve worked on something really hard and you really want to be done so you can show people and then you get done and it’s time to show the people and you’re JUST SO EXCITED?!?!
That’s how I am right now!
For the inaugural episode of Hilah’s Texas Kitchen, we went to Lockhart — known as the Barbecue Capital of Texas — to visit Black’s Barbecue, the oldest barbecue restaurant continuously run by the same family. That’s a difficult claim to fame to enunciate clearly, as you’ll see in the video. I interviewed Barrett Black, the fourth generation of the Black family to have their hands in the bbq biz. He showed me the secrets behind how they make their HUGE bbq beef ribs (well, not all the secrets, but enough) and we did a little sightseeing in Lockhart.
The second part of the video, I show you how to cook a fair facsimile of their bbq beef ribs at home, without a smoker! You’ll need to get some “beef back ribs” to do it proper. They’re a little hard to find. If you’re lucky enough to live in a nice town with an actual butcher shop, start there. My beloved Austin has no proper butcher shop, so I ordered mine from a grass-fed beef ranch I know of. Beef back ribs are cut anywhere from 8 to 12 inches long (hey-oh!) and come in racks of 3 or 4 ribs. The total weight of a rack of beef back ribs, then, is at least 3-4 pounds. The ones I used were on the small side for back ribs — just about a pound a rib — while the ones that Black’s Barbecue orders are more like 2 pounds per rib. If you find enormous ones like that, increase the cooking time by an hour I’d guess.
- One 3-4 pound rack of beef back ribs
- Dry rub:
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- Set oven to 250ºF and get a roasting pan ready. If you have a rack that fits into the roasting pan, put that in there, too. Get a piece of foil cut to cover the pan if you don’t have a lid.
- Combine the rub ingredients and rub the mixture into the rack of ribs, getting all sides including the bones.
- Place meat-side-up on the rack and cover tightly.
- Roast for 4 hours. No peeking!
- Ribs are done when the meat is very tender and the bones have just begun to release from the meat.
- Uncover and pop the pan under the broiler for just a minute to brown them a little.
- Cool 10 minutes before slicing between the ribs.
- Serve hot! (With sauce if you must.)