The Federal's Smokey Texan Laundry List For Your Fourth of July

This Fourth of July, Short Order is all set to fire up the grill, call up some friends and kick it poolside with some good 'ole fashioned Texan barbecue, all thanks to a chat we had with the masterminds behind The Federal Food Drink & Provisions.

Since you won't be able to go to the Federal this Wednesday to celebrate our independence (they gave their staff a few days off to celebrate their six month anniversary), stove master Cesar Zapata shared with us his laundry list for the ultimate smokey Texan barbecue and step-by-step recipes for a fail-proof Fourth of July celebration that will make your founding father proud to call you his son.

  • BEER: A case of Shiner Bock to be precise. Why a case? Because the prep work you'll need to start tonight will be more fun with beer. Plus your guests tomorrow might want some too...
  • RUB: Whip up a Texas style rub for your meat of choice and lather it on the day before. According to Zapata, rubs are the easiest dump and stir way to impart a lot of flavor on the cheap.
  • SAUCE: Try your hand at the Federal's Chile Mop. It's a vinegar based "mop" with ancho chiles, caramelized onions and other bits that add moisture and character to meat coming off the grill.
  • MEAT: Whether it's ribs, brisket or skirt steak, some form of meat landing on the barbie is a must. Throw on some corn wrapped in foil with a compound butter (butter mixed with lemon zest and herbs), water melon slices on the side and call it a meal.
  • CHARCOAL: Zapata, who spent over 6 years in Houston only uses all natural wood charcoal and swears by the stuff. He says it gives a true Smoky Texan flavor to foods that gas just can't. Best of all, you can pick up the chemical-free kindling at Publix in their Greenwise section.

If your too lazy or dumbfounded by the grill, check out the Federal for their Sunday BBQ where orders of meat are under $20 and sides are plentiful served family style for about $6. But, if you're ready to be a modern day Washington and take the challenge head on, read on for the Federal's Texas Mop, Q Sauce Rub and Beef Ribs recipes.

The Federal Texas Mop

2 tp black pepper
1 t paprika
1 tp chipotle powder
2 tp ancho chili powder (if not available sub chili powder)
1 tp cumin powder
1 dry Ancho chile
1 t of bacon fat (butter works too)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup shiner bock beer(or any other lager).
1/4 cup house ketchup (Heinz work)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 t Worcestershire sauce
3 t steak sauce (a1a works)
2 t brown sugar
2 tp Tabasco (chipotle)
2 cups beef stock (chicken or vegetable works also)

1. Mix paprika, black pepper, chili powder, and cumin in a small bowl.
2. In a one quart saucepan, melt bacon fat or butter and gently cook the onion over medium heat until translucent.
3. Add garlic, bell pepper, and spice mix. Stir, and cook for two minutes to extract the flavors.
4. Add stock and the rest of the ingredients. Stir until well blended. Simmer on medium for 15 minutes.
Sauce will be good for a month refrigerated

The Federal Texas Beef Rub

6 t ground black pepper
4 t Kosher salt
2 t white sugar
2 t onion powder
4 tp mustard powder
4 tp garlic powder
3 tp ancho chili powder
2 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and store in a container.

The Federal Beef Ribs

2 racks of beef back ribs
¼ cup federal texas beef rub
2 tb grapeseed oil or canola
Plastic Wrap
Aluminum Foil

1. Remove silver skin behind beef ribs. Make an incision or with the back of the spoon create an opening and peel using a paper towel. Removing the silver skin allows the meat to come off the bone after cooking; using the paper towel makes it slip proof.
2. Rub both racks with oil and then add rub ribs with Texan Rub until racks are well coated.
3. Cut beef racks in half and wrapped individually with plastic wrap, very tightly then with aluminum foil. (preferably let ribs marinate for 1 day)
4. Place in smoker and cook for 2 hrs at 200 and 225 f. If you don't have a smoker available, cook them in the oven for 3.5 to 4 hours at 300 degrees on a rack in the same plastic wrap/aluminum foil wrap.
5. After cooking, remove from heat, let cool and unwrap.
6. To smoke, place ribs in a smoker at 200 - 225 don't let temperature go above. Add 4 oz of wood chips of choice every 30 minutes. Smoke for 2 hours.
7. To finish place on a hot grill, mop them with Texas mop or your favorite barbecue sauce, cook for approximately 5 minutes until achieving a nice crust.
8. Eat them naked or sauced, as you like.

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