Callie Crossley's Tips for Better Barbecue

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You may have heard WGBH's Radio Host Callie Crossley's bold declaration last week that New Englanders do not know how to prepare barbecue.

When asked for her family recipe in response to the stir she created, WGBH staff was rebuffed. Ms. Crossley told us her recipe is so secret, she won't even prepare it unless she's alone in her kitchen. 

"I’m so secret that I divide my garbage into two bags and throw them out in two different locations. No joke. Maybe I’ll pass it on to my niece and nephew one day, but only if I am certain they can keep the recipes to themselves. I’m always happy to gift friends with jars of rub and sauce or to barbeque for friends, but nobody gets the recipe," Crossley said.

However, Callie would never want to stifle someone's curiosity about making food delicious. She also said, "I want to point people in the right direction. So I’ve identified two proper rub recipes for baby back ribs—the best ribs for Memphis barbeque.  This first recipe has several classic rub ingredients and good step-by-step directions."

Memphis Rib Rub

3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon red pepper
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
Combine dry rub ingredients and rub onto ribs. Cook ribs over hickory coals at 190 to 200 degrees F for 4 to 5 hours. Just 15 minutes before serving, coat the ribs with heated honey.



Another recipe recommendation from Ms. Crossley is Steven Raichlen's Memphis-Style Ribs. Although he's a New Englander, Crossley points out he's earned his stripes when it comes to barbecue.

» Hear Callie's 2010 interview with Steve Raichlen on 89.7 WGBH Radio

Finally, we can't talk about barbecue without mentioning The Rendezvous Restaurant in Memphis, TN. Probably the most well known dry rub is from Charles Vergos' restaurant, generally acknowledged to be a tourist trap in Memphis. Callie told us even Britain’s Princes William and Harry made the requisite stop there during a recent visit for the weekend wedding of their former schoolmate.

"Though tasty," Crossley said, "Rendezvous rub is not my favorite or even one of the best rubs. I think the rub is too dry and overpowers the meat. But, the restaurant and its dry style ribs remain popular with the restaurant’s signature seasonings available for sale through mail order."

You can't go wrong with recommendations like this from a self-proclaimed "charter member of S.N.O.B.---Secret Network of Obnoxious Barbequeists (Master Level). It’s so secret it’s a fake organization but you get my point," Crossley said.

We get it, and we hope with these great starting points, there will be more cooks aspiring to join Callie's network. 



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