Tuesday, May 15, 2018

This Goth Can Cook: The McRib!!!

Greetings my dear Gothlings!

[WARNING!!! Vegetarians and Vegans look away NOW!!!]

Growing up as a fat kid in New York City during the 1980's, I was naturally exposed to, and fell in love with, the nationwide craze that was McDonald's special McRib sandwich when it first came out in 1981 and lasted trough to 1985, and then made a comeback in 1994 due to a commercial tie-in with the live action Flintstones movie, and for a third time in 2005 to 2007 for the "McRib farewell tour" promotion! The very simple reason why the McRib sandwich never became a true McDonald's menu fixture- but made several comebacks - was due to two main factors: less than expected sales and the rise and fall of pork costs in the U.S. market! 

You see, as popular as the McRib was at its debut, the sales weren't high enough to warrant its continuation when ports prices began to rise...so they canned it! But years later, when pork prices dramatically dipped, McDonald's executives found it profitable enough to stage a "limited time" comeback for the McRib fans (such as my fat-ass adolescent and young-adult self) to rush to the nearest 'Mickey-Dees' and purchase this barbecued sponge and meat concoction!

(check out this video for a detailed McRib history in about 5 minutes)

I have to point out here that I use the word "concoction" because the McRib was far more 'factory creation' than 'fast food.' [Side note: as a preface to all of this, you should really check out the movie The Founder starring Michael Keaton on Netflix that explains the McDonald's origin story!] 

Let me breakdown the McRib for you...and try not to get too queasy. First you start with the slab of shredded pork meat...this was a pork meat blend that was ingeniously shaped to resemble a section of baby-back ribs, or some mutant hybrid thereof, thanks to the use of moulds. This (questionable) meat is then drenched in a glossy, hyper-salty, sweet & tangy barbecue sauce! Now, the sauced meat is then sprinkled with chopped or sliced onions and ridged sandwich/hamburger pickle chips and placed onto a soft and spongey, yet elongated, bread roll...and that was it!!! So simple...but so complex at the same time! It was sooooo unhealthy for you...but tasted sooooo damn good!!!

Here...let the guys from Good Mythical Morning explain it a bit further in the following video:

So with all of that in mind, and since I have sworn off any and all McDonald's food items for many many years now, last summer I was determined to deconstruct the McRib sandwich and replicate my own in a somewhat healthier version!!! I did do quite a lot of research, experimenting, and trial & error...but I prevailed...and SUCCEEDED!!! And now, I will share my homemade McRib recipe with you!

The Recipe:

Ok...This recipe should make about 3 or 4 'faux' McRib sandwiches. First, the simple ingredients:

  • 1 package of LLOYD'S Baby-Back Ribs, or another brand of pre-cooked, pre-sauced, and packaged BBQ pork ribs. Not the healthiest or natural alternative, but this is actually an important factor. 
  • Additional barbecue sauce (optional or for dipping)
  • 1 large white onion, sliced or coarsely chopped
  • Ridged sandwich/hamburger pickle chips
  • Long and soft bread / sandwich rolls...or hamburger buns in a pinch

Additional items (I shit you not):

  • A pair of tongs
  • A pair of pliers
  • Aluminum foil
  • An instant-read meat thermometer 
First, you will need to prep the ribs. Peel open the semi-prepared ribs from its packaging and transfer it to a long (over 2x the length of the rib slab) piece of aluminum foil while trying to preserve as much of the BBQ sauce as you can. Loosely wrap up the whole thing like a giant burrito but with the ends sealed up tight. 

Next, follow the cooking instructions on the original packaging for either conventional oven or barbecue grilling. Use the instant-read thermometer to make sure that it is perfectly cooked through by poking in between the bones...never touch a thermometer to bones, which carry much higher heat. Then set the rib package off to the side and out of the heat for another few minutes as to "boil" or further soften the rib meat some more. 

While the ribs were cooking you should have been chopping the onion, fishing out the pickles from the jar, and setting up the bread...what's wrong with you?!?!?😜

Now comes the intricate and laborious part! After you use the instant-read thermometer to see if you've reached the optimal temperature indicated on the package instructions, get your tongs (not thongs) to carefully pry open the very hot layers of aluminum fail encasing your tender and juicy pork ribs. Beware! There will be a bunch of hot juices and sauce bubbling...act gingerly!

Carefully transfer the slab of ribs onto a large dish, platter, cutting board, or anything that will carry the entire length of the slab that allows you enough free space to dissect this delicious beast!

Here's the fun part! Take your tongs again in your less dominant hand and your pair of (washed) pliers in you dominant hand...and now, time for surgery! MWUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Use the tongs to steady the rib meat while using the pliers to grab hold onto the end of a fully exposed and hopefully loosened rib bone. Give a slight twist of the pliers to release the bone from the meat and then gently "pull out" the bone from the entire slab and discard. Repeat for each small rib bone. If done right, you will be left with a perfect slab of boneless ribs!!!!

Now...onto the the final preparation of the sandwiches...

Take your slab of boneless ribs and cut it into segments, in the same direction that the bones were placed, into three or four parts that will evenly fit your bread. Gently place your pickle chips and sprinkle the onions onto the meat as little or as much to your liking, and then simply place it in between the two halves of your sandwich roll.

Lastly, bring this entire thing to your mouth-hole, close your eyes, take a strong bite, and be amazed by how much this homemade McRib sandwich tastes just like (or if not better) than the corporate version!!!

See you in the Dark!

Sir William Welles

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1 comment:

  1. perhaps the strangest thing I've seen on the Goth web today!