Monday, May 28, 2007

Fast Grilled Ribs

I'll say up front: "fast" is a relative term. These will take 45 minutes or so, but compared to hours of smoking or slow barbecuing, 45 minutes is fast.

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.

Grilled Ribs
  • 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)
If you are using St. Louis-style ribs (SLR), cut off the flaps of meat on the front and back of the slab of ribs. My ribs usually have two flaps of meat - one on the bone side, and one on the meat side. You want an even slab of ribs.

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.

Mix together:
  • 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
Use as a flavor rub for chicken or pork.


Erin said...

My husband and I used the recipe for fast grilled ribs this evening,and they came out wonderful! With two little ones, we didn't have 8+ hours to slow cook the ribs, so this was a great alternative for us...
Thanks for sharing!

Sunday Cook said...

Thanks for reminding me about my own recipe! I have to get this one back into rotation. Glad you liked them.

Anonymous said...

how hot should the grill be???

Julie Stewart said...

good question ... what temperature should the grill be if its medium heat?

Sunday Cook said...

Hi Julie - I think if your grill is running at about 350 degrees you should be all set - use your grill's thermometer, or use the "hand test": can you hold your hand over the grill for 5-7 seconds? That's medium heat. Good luck!

Lean Evangelist said...

Is this direct heat or indirect heat for grilling?

Lean Evangelist said...

Is the intent to place the meat over indirect heat or over direct heat? Thanks.

Sunday Cook said...

You place them rut the heat source, but it is medium heat, about 350, so if grilling indirect with that temp you should be ok, but you won't get as many crispy flame-kissed bits.

msscorpio82 said...

Will be experimenting today with this recipe. I dont have time for the 3-2-1 method

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