Photography by Angie Norwood Browne
Third Annual Beacon Hill Rib-Off
Neighbors, families and friends all gather for a momentous occasion on a chilly summer’s day in late August. They wait, breathlessly, expectantly. Whether they are in their cars driving from another part of the city, inside their houses, prepared to cross the street at any second to reach the rib-off destination, or making magic in the world of ribs,everyone is anxiously anticipating the Annual Beacon Hill Rib-off.
Meet the Competitors
Dean– Hosting this year’s rib-off, Dean won last year’s competition. According to Dean, “Talk is cheap. Ribs are not. Even at Costco.”
Eric-Eric has yet to win a rib-off. He will be the only competitor submitting beef ribs.
Jon-Jon won the first annual rib-off, and says that his ribs ” are cooked with love.”
Dean professes that “My cooking methods are taking the traditional smoking experience, which is very cumbersome, and adding a twenty-first century twist.” Dean will be cooking his ribs on his Traeger, to which he is quite dedicated. “I’m in it to win it,baby,” says Dean as he prepares for the upcoming rib-off. Dean will not, in fact, be cooking only ribs. He is also preparing chicken, and a beef brisket. ” I intend to win in three categories,” he boasts.Pork, beef, and chicken. I am the only contestant qualified to be a triple threat.”
Eric, beef rib cooker and self-proclaimed “addict of ribs”, was originally a taster in the tournament before joining in last year. When asked if he thought that the choice to be beef ribs was a significant one, he says”every decision is crucial if affecting your chances to win.” After a brief pause he adds fervently,”but beef ribs can be a winner.” He poetically states that his cooking style is “last minute, every spice, last chance.”
Jon never makes the same rib twice. He divulges that this year, he is using two different rubs: a red rub called the “Traditional Jon Rub” and an East IndianCurry rub. He will also be using a different cut of meat, baby back ribs. ” Contrary to Ellis’s opinion, baby back ribs do not come from a baby pig,” he informs. “They come from the upper ribcage.” He believes that his ribs are special because” mine are never to be repeated, even by me'” after some contemplation he adds, “Then, in parentheses, you can put put the master.” He also says that “This year, I’m smoking ribs in a triangle formation, vertices formed by Gould farms west, Gould farms east,(raspberries), and my smoker.”
It was a hard decision this year with all the different kinds of meat. Everything was great! However, Dean squeaked out first place in front of Jon and Eric came in third. Our menu consisted of homemade tonic water, Gin and Tonics, crudites of vegetables and dip, black eyed pea salad, potato salad, collard greens, and homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream. Now we just have to wait until next year to see what rib-off magic will happen.
Recipes to come in future post.
Interviews and article by Maia Pody.