the smokers were fired up to 200 degrees, the spare ribs seasoned and the sun was shining on the terrace. it was time for the birmingham battle of the bbqs... rib nights round three!
set at the church inn in birmingham's jewellery quarter, this sell out event saw barbecue teams bunch of swines and soul foul project show us their smokin' skills to be crowned the winners of the evening.
with two sittings for the rib extravaganza, the bbq teams began smoking their spares at 7am. pretty committed, hey? luckily the weather was lovely for it and so we arrived for the evening sitting and enjoyed a glass of wine in the sun whilst everyone awaited the slow (in this case the slower the better) approaching meat.
the brilliant host ahmed began the evening by introducing the live artists who would draw throughout the event and raffle off the art at the end. all £362 of proceeds went to mind, a mental heath charity close to his heart.
fellow rib nights organiser ibbs then took the lead and taught us a thing or two about jim beam bourbon; in particular the devils cut blend. similar to smoking, this drink is something which takes time to produce and mature. to my surprise, we were then invited to take a shot together followed with pickle juice. this is known as the pickleback back and is, as you can imagine, an acquired taste.
so now what you've all been waiting for. the meat.
served with sour dough bread, slaw and skinny fries, we were presented with two flavours of ribs simply labelled team a and team b. this was seriously top secret stuff!
first i delved into team a's offering. it tasted very lightly spiced with a kick to come in the last few bites. the meat simply fell off the bone with the spices letting the perfectly cooked meat do the talking. team b i found to have a more sticky and sweet indulgent flavour with belly-busting meat that you had to work for. both were delicious in different ways.
so really this was now down to personal preference. do you love your ribs to fall off the bone or do you like to gnaw away at your feast? do you prefer to lick bbq glaze off every finger or enjoy spicy flavours that pack and punch at the last second? at rib nights, you show your appreciation for your favourite by placing your dirty mitts on the voting slip in box a or b. for me it was a, for my boyfriend team b.
and the winner was... team a! with just four votes difference in the results from both sittings, the bunch of swines had clinched it! both teams were brilliant sports and were beaming at the meaty appreciation from the diners.
well done guys!
bring on the rib nights uk tour! first stop is leicester for miss piggy's vs. barbecue barons on may 3rd!
find out more on the rib nights facebook.