Franklin BBQ pork ribs

One of the absolute highlights of our trip around the U.S was when we spent 3 days in Austin, TX. We went there for the food and it did not disappoint. After years of watching tv foodies like Adam Richmond, Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern travel the continental U.S, we decided to venture to places they recommended.

Franklin BBQ was a place we had heard mentioned on many a food series and knew of it as the best BBQ in the world. It's the kind of place that is so good, people line up for 6 hours just to get a taste of their wood-smoked meats (we went in winter and only lined up for 3.5 hours, but it was about 2 degrees outside so it felt much longer!)

Some wouldn't understand the sheer joy I feel that I got to eat at Franklin Barbecue. But all I can say is; if you ever find yourself around Austin... Get to Franklin BBQ and get there early.

It's kind of bittersweet because I don't know if I'll ever get back there... I always want to see new places when I travel and experience different things, but I know if I ever get back to America, I'll be going back to Franklin Barbecue without a doubt.

So with the post-holiday blues that always come from returning to the life of a mere mortal, my husband and I dreamt of better times, when our bellies were full of succulent beef brisket and juicy pork ribs. It was while I was trawling the internet I stumbled across news that Aaron Franklin was in the process of publishing his book- A Smoking Manifesto. I had to have it. I preordered it months in advance and when it finally arrived I wrapped it up in brown paper (just like they do with their meat at the restaurant) and gave it to my husband.

So we procured some pork ribs, and set to smoke them for 7 hours using Aaron Franklin's smoking instructions. It's a bit difficult when you don't have a 2-tonne smoker in your backyard. We just used our Weber kettle barbecue, which worked well but didn't have the meat as tender as we would have liked. Alas, I don't know if we'll ever get a result even close to the original but we can damn well try!

First, you trim off any excess fat and the membrane on the back (optional)... (My husband did it this time, I'll give it a go next time!)

Then you season them with kosher salt, coarsely ground black pepper and chilli powder

Have a spray bottle or atomiser ready with olive oil and cider vinegar

Have your barbecue get hot, then let it drop down to a low heat (275 Fahrenheit/135 degrees Celsius-maintain) before adding briefly soaked wood chips and the ribs (we used hickory & apple wood)

Leave to smoke for 2 hours, adding more wood chips halfway if need be. Make the Franklin BBQ sauce and coat after 2 hours and leave to set for 15 minutes, before flipping and saucing again. Then wrap in foil to continue cooking for another 2 hours

Once the ribs have cooked for the amount of time specified, remove from the heat and rest in foil for 20 minutes

Unwrap to unveil the beautifully caramelised ribs, slice to serve

Serve with desired accompaniments such as slaw, fries, potato salad, beans etc

If you trawl youtube there is no shortage of videos about Franklin BBQ you'll come across his own 'how tos' :   <--- RIBS PART ONE <---RIBS PART TWO <--- FRANKLIN BBQ SAUCE


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