Any barbecue establishment that attempts to capture the spirit of this city’s unique BBQ style had better get it right. And Jerry’s BBQ delivers!
Mention BBQ, and there’s really just one place in town that comes to mind for their venerable reputation for delicious offerings from the grill. Almost everybody at one time or another has been in one of their outlets or experienced their catering services… and now they’ve raised the bar by introducing “Memphis Style” smoked BBQ ribs.
If you ask 100 Memphians what makes the best barbecue you will probably receive 100 different answers. But one thing is certain – with the high standards that the locals have there, any barbecue establishment that attempts to capture the spirit of this city’s unique BBQ style had better get it right. And one such place that does BBQ right every time is not all the way over in the US South East, but here in South East Asia, at Jerry’s BBQ,
Like Jerry’s, Memphis is a city that takes great pride in its barbecue. Considered by many as the best in the world, from world-renowned restaurants like The Rendezvous to the Memphis, barbecue is an important part of the culture in Bluff City. But what exactly is Memphis-Style Barbecue, and why does it stand out above the rest?
Memphis is best known for “dry barbecue”. Most frequently used on ribs, the dry style is highly flavourful and is less messy to eat than wet. In the dry process, the ribs are coated with a rub made from ingredients such as garlic, paprika, onions, cumin, and other spices, and they are traditionally not grilled, baked or broiled, but cooked in a smoker until they are fall-off-the-bone tender. White oak and hickory are the traditional woods used however many other woods are now used. Jerry’s imports hickory wood by the pallet load from Texas just to ensure every batch of ribs comes out perfect.
Memphis ribs are typically spareribs cut St. Louis style. This means they take the full sparerib rack and trim them into nice, neat ribs. The chef starts by laying the ribs out, bone side down and cutting along the line of fat at the base of the ribs. This creates a nice piece of cartilaginous rib tips. He then flips over the rack and cut off the flap of meat in the middle of the rack. Then he removes the membrane from the back of the ribs to let in the flavour and allow excess fat to melt away.
Though just about any meat can be used, traditional Memphis barbecue is usually smoked pork served in one of two forms: ribs on a slab or ‘pulled’ meat from a pork shoulder. Jerry’s, in true Memphis smokers tradition, doesn’t rely on seasoning alone to ensure a great barbecue. Instead, they use only the highest quality meat and let the slow smoking process enhance its natural flavour. This results in pork that is tasty and tender, even without rubs and sauces.
And what’s the rub you ask? A rub is a thin sauce that is ‘mopped’ onto the meats during the cooking process to keep them moist. Barbeque sauce is never used during the cooking process, but rather is served on the side with the ribs at the table. Because a barbeque sauce is not used, the mop sauce is an important component in keeping the meat moist.
Smoke is another critical part of Memphis style ribs, and gives you the best of both worlds. Properly smoked, these ‘dry’ ribs won’t be dry and those who like sauce can just add it at the table. If you prefer the meaty flavour, then just dig in; you’ll have more time to eat if you skip the sauce!
But you’ll want to try the sauce too. Jerry’s brings the taste experience even further with real treat; a tangy and spicy vinegar-based sauce made in the Carolina style, over 22 ingredients which come together perfectly in a symphony of flavour. It is thinner, not too spicy, and not as sweet as some other styles of sauce. Rather than slather, this sauce is poured over pulled pork (great for a delicious sandwich) or served alongside of dry ribs. This particular recipe was created by the original Jerry, founder and namesake, and has been gradually improved over the years by Al Hakim, the man whose passion for great BBQ never wanes.
To Al, the quality of the meat is much more important then any sauce, and his investment in some serious smoking racks is basically to feature the meat rather then covering it up with a sauce. On sampling this delicious new style (to me at least) I had to get over the urge to just dip the ribs in the BBQ sauce, but I’m glad I did, as the pure flavour of just the meat and rub seasoning is mouthwatering by itself.
92 Club St. +65 6323 4550, 277 Jalan Kayu, Tel: +65 6484 0151 and now at 01-01 Tanglin Shopping Centre +65 6235 1720. Three locations in Singapore, go to www.jerrybbq.com.sg