A little bit ago I made Italian “sausage” baby back ribs on the Char-Broil The Big Easy for the first time. I was really impressed with how well they came out. Tender, juicy, and tasty. Just another reason that my Big Easy is one of my favorite “grills”.
I was looking for a different take on ribs, something other than the “usual” BBQ-flavor, when I came across a recipe for ribs with the flavor of Italian sausage (oh my!). I knew right then that I was going to make them on my Big Easy.
The resulting Italian “sausage” baby back ribs is fantastic. They taste just like Italian sausage, with a wonderful twist. Again, tender and juicy. And with the hint (not overpowering) of fennel and the other seasonings found in Italian sausage. The orange glaze is absolutely to die for. The brown sugar gives the ribs a bit of a crust, a crunchy exterior. The glaze is not overly sweet thanks to rice wine vinegar, orange juice and zest, and chile paste (yum! a nice kick!). These are some of the best ribs I’ve ever had or made, and I’ve made a lot of them, from on the grill, on the smoker, and now on the Big Easy.
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Italian Sausage Baby Back Ribs on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 13 hours 30 minutes
For the brine
- 2 racks baby back ribs trimmed to fit the Big Easy (alternatively, if you have a particularly large rack, just halve it and the remaining ingredients). Remove the membrane from the backs of the ribs and trim any large chunks of fat.
- 32 ounces apple cider or juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/3 cup sea salt
- 1/2 cup loose packed brown sugar
For the rub
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds lightly ground
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the glaze
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup orange juice 2 big oranges
- 2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 tablespoon hot chili paste
Place the ribs into a resealable container.
In a medium bowl, combine the brine ingredients. Pour over the ribs and seal.
Refrigerate 12 hours, turning the ribs occasionally.
Fire up your big easy
Attach ribs to the rib hooks
. Attach ribs to the Big Easy and lower into the cooker. Cook 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the rub by combining all ingredients.
Rub ribs generously with the rub (being careful to not burn yourself on the rib hooks!). Wrap the ribs in foil, making sure that the rib hooks stick out enough to be used.
Return ribs to the Big Easy and cook another 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and simmer until reduced by half.
Remove ribs from the Big Easy and remove the foil. Brush ribs on all sides with the glaze and return to the cooker for 10 minutes. Add more glaze and cook another 5 minutes or until the desired color is achieved.
Let ribs rest 10 minutes before slicing.
After visiting the Citizen Hash food truck the other day, and seeing (and tasting) how great the hash was, I decided to make a copycat version of the spring hash, a sausage mushroom kale hash. My version is a little heavier on the sausage, but you can adjust it as you like. I also added a fried egg, but next time I’ll add a poached egg instead.
This sausage mushroom kale hash is an easy dish to make, and it has great flavor to boot. I used hot Italian sausage for a little extra kick.
Also try my Hobo hash. Just as easy, just as great.
Sausage Mushroom Kale Hash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
- 2 large Russet potatoes peeled, chopped into 1/2" cubes
- 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
- Olive oil
- 1/2 large white onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound small mushrooms sliced
- 1 large bunch kale washed and chopped
- Pinch of dried basil oregano and crushed chili peppers
- 4 eggs fried or poached (optional)
- Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish, if desired
Salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until nearly done, 5-8 minutes. Drain.
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Crumble sausage into the pan and cook until done. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet.
Add the onions and cook for a few minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until the onions are softened.
Add the potatoes. Turn up the heat to high and cook until the potatoes are golden brown and crisped on one side. Flip and crisp the other side.
Add the cooked sausage, mushrooms, kale, and the spices and gently stir fry until the mushrooms start to soften and the kale has wilted. Add more oil if it is too dry.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with a cooked egg and garnished with parsley if desired.
Some folks don’t really care for polenta. I think it is one of the best (and easiest) things to make. What’s not to like about great corn flavor, with cheese and butter? This hot Italian sausage with fresh corn polenta dish has a great combination of creamy corn smoothness and the heat and juiciness of sausages.
So is there a difference between polenta and grits? Apparently, yes, but there are lots of thoughts on the subject. I usually use cornmeal, and for dishes like this one, I prefer a coarser variety when I can find it.
Grilled shrimp would work great in this too.
Also try my fresh pasta with grilled sausage and mushrooms.
Hot Italian Sausage with Fresh Corn Polenta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups yellow stone-ground cornmeal
- 3 cups fresh corn kernels about 2 cans if you don't have fresh on hand
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus more for shaving
- 12 links fresh hot Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Bring 7 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Add salt.
While whisking the water, slowly pour in the cornmeal. Keep whisking until the mixture begins to thicken, about 3-4 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium low and let the cornmeal cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. If the mixture gets too thick, add just a bit of hot water, stir, and add more water in small quantities if needed.
Add in the fresh corn and stir. Continue cooking until the cornmeal is smooth and no longer gritty, 10-15 more minutes.
Add the butter and cheese and stir. Add more salt to taste if desired.
Grill sausages until done.
Let rest 5 minutes then cut into thirds.
Spoon cornmeal onto plates and top with the sausages. Garnish with parsley and a few cheese shavings and serve.