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Food & Drink

Hunting the whole hog in San Antonio

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas

A Large White hog, broken down at Restaurant Gwendolyn.

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas

Restaurant Gwendolyn's Kyle DeStefano



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Texas pitmasters have been doing pork ribs as a part of the Holy Trinity of brisket, sausage, and ribs for almost as long as Smithfield has made hams (allow for a slight exaggeration here), and it's not surprising that chefs like Dady have taken the tradition and run with it. Two Bros. BBQ Market does pork butt, pork sausage, pork loin, and pork ribs, but it's the cherry glazed baby back that initially caught my attention.

There is, of course, a secret dry rub. Some things don't change.

We do know that smoked paprika is part of the process. "It goes on the grill with just rub at first, then we start glazing with cane syrup infused with cherry," says Dady. "After about two hours we pull them off, let them rest, then apply a final, fresh glaze." When Emilio Soliz (he's wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with "I like pig butts…") opens the counter-weighted lids to the pits, oak smoke curls out, announcing the trove within: the ranks of ribs are dark and daunting, but the aromas are altogether enticing. If fancy dishes with pork belly and exotic ones featuring sliced pig's ear in incendiary sauces are on the cusp of becoming (nearly) normal, it's good to know that we can always go back to ribs with secret sauces. Just for history's sake. •

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