The original method for these ribs came our friends John and Lynn. The idea is simple: rub the ribs with salt, pepper, garlic and lime juice and then grill them bone side down over medium heat for about 30 minutes, flip once and grill 15 minutes longer. The bones insulate the meat so it cooks through and doesn't dry out. As the fat renders, it bastes the meat and drips off. You're left with porky, meaty ribs. This method won't yield the fall apart texture you'd get after hours of smoking, but you get nice, meaty ribs to gnaw on. Very satisfying.
This time, instead of the simple lime, salt and pepper rub, I used an adobo paste, inspired by one in the most recent issue of Gourmet magazine. T'was toothsome.
- 1 slab babyback or St. Louis ribs (I have found the baby backs are easier to prepare, but the St. Louis are meatier and better on the grill.)
- Dry rub or flavoring paste (see below)
Cut off most of the external fat. Rub the slab with your paste or rub. If using SLR, trim the pieces you cut off, rub them with the seasoning and follow the instructions below, putting them on the coolest part of the grill.
Place the ribs over medium heat. Cook bone-side down for about 30-40 minutes. The meat will be cooked almost through at the 30 minute mark (take a peek, you shouldn't see raw meat). Flip the slab over to brown the top. At 45 minutes, they should be browned across the entire slab. Set aside to rest for about 5-10 minutes. Cut the meat apart between the ribs and serve. If you have SLR, slice the little pieces of flap meat into thin slices and serve alongside the ribs. I like a little lime juice sprinkled over the top of everything.
Adobo Paste (adapted from Doc Willoughby's recipe in the June Gourmet)
This is the paste I used this time. In the past, I have found a simple rub of salt and pepper, lime juice and finely minced garlic works well too. You do not need to let the ribs soak this stuff up ahead - just rub and go.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced