Sunday, August 8, 2010

Herb-spiced baby back ribs with chimichurri mop sauce

This is what happened when set out to make some ribs with a difference. Not that there’s anything wrong with the many excellent variations on barbecued ribs that already exist. In fact, various forms of these tasty morsels are a regular feature of the Monkeyshines Menu when we break out the charcoal grill; usually inspired by recipes in the excellent Barbecue Bible and/or Barbecue USA, both by Steven Raichlen. However, this time we wanted to take things in a bit more of a herbal direction.


1 rack of baby back ribs

For the rub:
2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
1 tsp salt

For the mop sauce:
4 tbsp minced parsley
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

BBQ ribs 003

First, make the rub: grind the spices in a mortar and pestle. Peel the papery skin off the back of the rack of ribs, and coat the ribs liberally with the rub (You can see that we just used a half rack of ribs; I’ve scaled the recipe up for a full rack.) Wrap or cover and leave in the refrigerator overnight.


The ribs are cooked using a two step process. First, they are wrapped well in aluminum foil and cooked in a low temperature (200 F) oven for 5 hours. This seems like a long time, but it guarantees that the ribs will be literally falling-off-the-bone tender. At some stage towards the end of these 5 hours, make the mop sauce: first, mix all ingredients apart from the olive oil, then gradually whisk in the oil (as if making a vinaigrette):

BBQ ribs 007

Remove the ribs from the oven, take them out of the foil packet and cook on a hot charcoal grill for about 10 minutes per side, basting with the mop sauce. This should be enough to give them a nice char; careful as you turn them though; they will probably be very tender and you don’t want to lose them!

BBQ ribs 017
As shown above, we served the ribs with some grilled corn and trumpet mushrooms. Enjoy!

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