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A Kansas City Barbecue

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Slow-smoked spareribs doused in homemade BBQ sauce meet old-fashioned potato salad, cole slaw, and baked beans.

This menu serves eight. For dessert, serve chilled sliced or diced watermelon, sprinkled with lime juice.

Kansas City’s great barbecue tradition comes home in this simple menu. The sides–classic cole slaw, baked beans, and potato salad–are mostly make-ahead, which lets you enjoy the summer day, occasionally tending to your fire as the ribs slowly smoke. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of spices in the shopping list, for the spice rub and sauce; they’re all easy to find, or you can substitute your own favorite spice rub and barbecue sauce.

Menu Timeline

1 day ahead:

  • Make the barbecue sauce and spice rub.
  • Make the baked beans.
  • Make the potato salad.

5 hours ahead:

  • Start the fire for the ribs.

4-1/2 hours ahead:

  • Start barbecuing the ribs.
  • Shred the vegetables for the cole slaw and let drain.

1 hour ahead:

  • Reheat the baked beans.
  • Cut up the watermelon and sprinkle with lime juice; refrigerate.

30 minutes ahead:

  • Glaze the ribs with the sauce, if desired.
  • Finish the cole slaw.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 1 large watermelon
  • 2 lb. smallish red potatoes
  • 2 inner ribs celery and their tender leaves
  • 6 small radishes
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1 small Savoy cabbage (about 1-1/4 lb.)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 large carrot (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 small celery root (about 10 oz.)
  • 1 small sweet onion (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh marjoram
  • 2 to 3 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 bulb garlic

Meat, Eggs & Dairy

  • 2 to 4 slabs of spareribs, preferably with tips attached
  • 10 oz. thick-cut bacon (8 slices)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

Other Groceries:

  • 1 lb. dried Great Northern beans
  • 6 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup hard apple cider
  • 1/4 cup sweet Hungarian paprika

Pantry Staples:

  • 2-1/4 cups tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup seasoned salt
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar; more to taste
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. garlic salt
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. dry mustard
  • 1 Tbs. prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbs. onion salt
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. rubbed dried sage
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1/8 tsp. ground mace
  • Whole nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns

The Menu

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