Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Emerson Stamp’s Dry Rub Mix

It’s Fall and a guy’s thoughts turn to wood smoke, Oktoberfest beer, and football. One of our favorite events is the Oktoberfest at Nashoba Valley Winery here in Bolton. They have a bluegrass band playing in the gazebo on the lawn, their own microbrews including a pretty good Oktoberfest, and apple wood-smoked pulled pork sandwiches. Match that with a New England Indian summer day and it is a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Given the season, I thought I would share my favorite dry rub mix. This recipe is from Emerson Stamp, an old timey barbecue pit master from Alabama (I think, please correct me if I’m wrong). The recipe was originally published in the Boston Globe around 1997-1998. It was popular enough that it has survived on the intertubes as well as in my recipe file. It was my first introduction to the use of dry rubs in barbecue and I have been barbecuing since a boy (the job my dad gave me was to man the squirt gun to douse any flare-ups on the open barbecue grill we used).

I’m not sure where this rub fits in the taxonomy of rubs, if there is such a thing. It’s not Kansas City and it’s not Memphis. It has a lot of allspice, marjoram and cumin which provide a lot of the flavor and fragrance. The paprika mostly adds color. The rub is fairly low in salt and has no sugar, which is fine with me, and I don’t add additional salt when I rub the meat. The heat comes only from the black pepper content, so it is not very hot. I have tried a couple of other rubs but I still prefer this, perhaps just due to habit. I use this rub mostly for pork and beef, but it is OK for chicken as well.

Emerson Stamp Dry Rub Mix
  • · 1 T (15 ml) dried thyme
  • · 1 T (15 ml) dried marjoram
  • · 3 T  (44 ml) ground cumin
  • · 2 T (30 ml) ground allspice
  • · 3 T (44 ml) paprika
  • · 1 T (15 ml) garlic powder
  • · 2 tsp. (10 ml) celery salt
  • · 1 ½ T (22 ml) kosher salt
  • · 1 ½ T (22 ml) freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl, combine all the spices. Stir and store in a jar with tight fitting lid in a cool place out of the light until ready to use. Rub the meat with the dry rub, wrap and refrigerate overnight. Sprinkle with a little more rub before placing on the grill or in the smoker.

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