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Barbecue Secrets

Recipe of the Week: Greek-Style Ribs

Jul 3, 2015

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Die-hard barbecue people don’t even like to consider this technique, which I sometimes call "cheater ribs" because it 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.

The original recipe calls for a coating of mustard and barbecue rub and a Kansas City-style finishing glaze, but this Greek treatment is unusual and delicious.

2 racks side or back ribs, trimmed by your butcher
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
1 tsp | 5 mL peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Extra virgin olive oil

For the rub:
1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried (not powdered) oregano
1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried mint
1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried basil
1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried rosemary
1 tsp | 5 mL dried parsley
1 Tbsp | 15 mL Kosher or sea salt
1 Tbsp | 15 mL freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp | 2 mL granulated garlic

1/2 tsp | 2 mL crushed chiles (optional)

1 jar mint jelly
Fresh mint for garnish

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 bay leaves. 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 bones start to poke out of 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. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with the rub and drizzle them with a light coating of olive oil.

Put the mint jelly in a saucepan and gently heat it until it is liquid. Set it aside and keep it warm. (You may want to add a splash of water to thin it down a bit, depending on how jelly-like it is.)

Grill the ribs for 3–4 minutes on each side, applying the melted mint jelly with a basting brush as you turn them. Remove them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes. Cut them into single ribs, garnish them with some chopped mint, and serve them with classic accompaniments like Greek salad and roasted potatoes.