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Ontario Craft Beer Smoked Beef Ribs

I recently went for an Ontario Craft Brewers Association (OCBA) Tour. Aside from tasting some absolutely marvelous beers, we also learned a lot about what goes into making some of Ontario’s smaller beer batches. The OCBA strictly adhere to ‘craft brewing’ quality guidelines, ensuring no additives or preservatives are added to their beer.
We had a fascinating afternoon with delicious samplings along the way.
At the Old Credit Brewery we were charmed by owner Aldo and his love of European styled ice beer. Old Credit makes the only such beer in North America and offers up three beverages, each more tasty than the next.
Great Lakes Brewery offered samples of some “virgin” Golden Horseshoe wort (beer before fermentation has begun), and then walked through a tasting of their brand’s offerings. Lastly, we stopped by an old favourite of mine, the Granite Brewery. While their ales are only available on-site or in take-away growlers it’s worth the trip to taste their Ringberry Ale. A raspberry flavoured beer unlike anything you’ve likely tried before.
For $65 and up you can go for a similar trek around one of the routes provided by the OCBA Tours: Downtown Toronto, Oakville/Mississauga or Kitchener/Waterloo. Highly recommended!
My recipe below is perfect to try with your own favourite Ontario Craft Beer. As a key component in both the marinade and the mop sauce, you’re going to be a backyard BBQ hero when you serve these bad boys up alongside a frothy glass of craft brew. Give them a try this summer and let me know what you think!

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Ontario Craft Beer Smoked Beef Ribs

Serves: 4
Ingredients:
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 quarter cup of cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 racks of beef ribs
1 cup of your favourite wood-chips, for smoking (I used Pecan wood)
Marinade:
1/2 cup brown sugar
700ml of craft beer
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
Preparation:
  1. Heat the marinade ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and completely dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool.
  2. Remove thin layer of membrane from the back of the ribs.
  3. Slice into the meat between each rib, but do not cut all the way through. This will help them absorb your marinade.
  4. Place the ribs in a large roasting pan or plastic bag and add cooled marinade to them. Allow to marinate overnight. Flip and rearrange from time to time so that the ribs marinate evenly.
  5. Remove the slab of ribs (saving marinade) and pat dry.
  6. Put the marinade in a saucepan and bring to a boil, reducing by half. Add tomato sauce, cider vinegar, and molasses and continue to simmer until thickened (by about half again).
  7. Soak the wood chips in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes.
  8. Put a handful onto the middle of a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Fold all ends of the aluminum foil together to make a pouch. Turn the pouch over and poke about 10 holes in the bottom of the pouch with a fork.
  9. Lift the grate on one side of the grill and insert the pouch over a burner shield.
  10. Light the side of the grill with the wood pouch and turn it to Medium-Low heat. When the pouch starts to smoke, you are ready to grill. Keep the lid closed as much as possible to allow for the smoke to circulate around the meat.
  11. Place ribs bone-side down on unheated side of the grill and smoke at about 225°F for 2 1/2 hours (adjust heat control as necessary to keep temperature steady). Flip the ribs over and smoke for an additional 30 minutes.
  12. Brush ribs liberally with half of the sauce.  Flip and smoke bone side down for another 30 minutes.
  13. Turn grill to High and grill ribs for a few minutes to sear. Remove ribs from the grill, cut into individual ribs and brush them one more time with sauce.