Texas takes smoked meat very seriously, as evidenced by its internationally famous reputation for barbecue. So if you’re going to put ribs on your menu, you can’t be nonchalant about it: you need to whip up a recipe until it’s perfect. Also, it helps if the people running the workshops are responsible for some of the best restaurants in the state.
Parrot is the Asian smokehouse for superchefs Tyson Cole (Uchi, Uchiko and Uchibā), Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue) and Jack Yoss, who serves as vice president of culinary operations at Hai Hospitality, the powerful Austin-based restaurant group behind of Parrot and the Uchi Concepts.
It opened in Austin in 2018 and expanded to Dallas last summer, with both menus including a delicious plate of smoked Duroc Baby Back Pork Ribs only available on Sundays and Mondays.
In creating this dish, and all their dishes, the Loro team aimed for “familiar yet unique.” Yoss, who previously lived and worked in Bali, says he has always loved Indonesian-style pork ribs. And since pork ribs are a staple in Texas barbecue, it made sense to combine the two. That’s where the R&D process began.
“A great product is the first step, and we chose Duroc pork ribs for the flavor, marbling and consistency,” says Yoss. Loro’s team experimented with multiple preparations and dozens of sauces before arriving at the final recipe.
“Finally, we finish with a curry-apple cider marinade that removes the fat from the meat and gives the ribs a slightly cured texture,” he says. The sauce was next, and the clear winner was a Pineapple Tamarind BBQ Sauce.
Yoss says the ribs were fantastic right out of the smoker, but they thought, can we make this any better? The answer was yes, quickly grilling the ribs over high heat on the restaurant’s oak grill.
If you’re trying to make these ribs yourself, Yoss suggests buying your meat from a butcher. And if you don’t have a smoker, you can still follow the recipe, but instead of smoking the ribs, just cook them in the oven and then finish them on the grill. You will miss some of the smoky flavor, but they will still be delicious.
Parrot Austin Smoked Duroc Baby Back Pork Ribs
makes 2 shelves
For the marinade:
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅛ cup Maeseri red curry paste
- Mix the ingredients and reserve.
For the Pineapple Tamarind BBQ Sauce (makes 1 quart):
- 25 ounces of honey
- 3.5 ounces sweet soy sauce
- 3.5 ounces tomato sauce
- 2.5 ounces of tamarind concentrate
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ounce of ginger
- 4.5 ounces of pineapple
- 4.5 ounces of fish sauce
- 2.5 ounces Thai sriracha sauce
- ½ teaspoon mesquite powder (liquid smoke, if needed)
- ¼ teaspoon nam tok seasoning
Mix all the ingredients in a blender.
To prepare the ribs:
Set smoker to 265 F. Pat ribs dry of any moisture. The inside of the ribs will have a thin membrane. Start in one corner and with a dry towel begin to peel back the membrane until it is removed.
Lather ribs with marinade. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
To cook the ribs:
Place the ribs in the smoker with the inside of the ribs facing down. Remove once internal temperature reaches 165 F. Take 2 pieces of foil 4 inches longer than the ribs, place them on a table and add 2-4 ounces of Pineapple Tamarind BBQ Sauce over the foil. aluminum and extend. Place the ribs on the sauté foil, insides up, and brush the insides of the ribs with 2 ounces of BBQ sauce. Wrap foil around ribs so sauce doesn’t leak out. Repeat with the second shelf. Return to smoker until internal temperature reaches 205 F. Let stand 1 hour.
To finish the ribs:
Unwrap the ribs and place on a hot grill for a light char. Use 1-2 ounces of BBQ sauce to foam each side of the ribs as they grill, continuing to turn the racks.
Serve with artisan pickles and remaining BBQ sauce.
If you do not have a smoker:
Place marinated ribs in an oven-safe Pyrex dish, add 4 ounces of water to skillet, and cover with foil. Cook at 300 F for 1 hour. Add 2-4 ounces of BBQ sauce, cover and continue cooking until tender. Follow the same finishing process.
This article appeared in the InsideHook Texas newsletter. Sign up now to learn more about the Lone Star State.