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Barbecue Secrets

Recipe of the Week: Cheater Ribs

Jul 1, 2011

  Cheater Ribs

(From Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!)

Makes 4 servings 

Die-hard barbecue people don’t even like to consider this technique, which goes against all the principles and values of barbecue culture. These ribs may not be smoky, and they may not be quite as flavorful as true barbecued ribs, but they’re wonderfully tender, they taste great, and they don’t take all day to cook.

 2 racks side or back ribs, trimmed by your butcher

1 medium onion, peeled and halved

1 tsp | 5 mL peppercorns

3 or 4 whole cloves

2 Tbsp | 25 mL prepared mustard

1/2 tsp | 2 mL granulated garlic

1/4 cup | 50 mL or so Championship Barbecue Rub

1 cup | 250 mL barbecue sauce, the sweeter and tangier the better

Remove the membrane from the ribs if your butcher hasn’t already done it for you. Fill a large pot with cold water and completely submerge the ribs in the water. Add the onion, peppercorns, and cloves. Bring the water just to a boil. With a spoon or ladle, quickly skim off the soapy scum that forms on the top of the water and reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer the ribs for about 11/4 hours, or until the rib bones start to protrude from the meat. Take the ribs out of the water and cool them on a cooking sheet until they are easy to handle.

            Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Coat the ribs with mustard, sprinkle them lightly with the granulated garlic, and lightly coat them with the rub. Let them sit until the rub starts to glisten, about 10 minutes. Grill the ribs for 3–4 minutes on each side, applying barbecue sauce with a basting brush as you turn them. Cook them until the sauce is nicely caramelized and the ribs are lightly charred in a few places. Remove them from the grill, let them rest for a few minutes, cut them into single ribs or half racks, and serve them with classic barbecue accompaniments like corn on the cob, slaw, beans, etc.

Barbecue Secret

Pork rib membrane is slippery and frustrating to remove unless you use this technique: Separate a corner of the membrane from the rib cage with a sharp knife. Using a dry paper towel as a gripper, grab the loosened membrane and peel it off the ribs with steady pressure, reestablishing your grip as more membrane comes off. Once you have removed it, trim off any excess fat from the ribs, along with any remaining bits of membrane.

(Photo copyright John Sinal Photography, used with permission.)

with any remaining bits of membrane.