Father’s Day is approaching and I’m going to be cooking for my husband, my dad, and my father-in-law. No pressure, right? I want to make something really yummy, so I asked my hubs, Mike, what he might enjoy eating on his special day. His answer… “Meat on a bone”.
So, I started brainstorming all of my various protein choices. Chicken is yummy, but it’s too mundane for Father’s Day. Steaks and thick lamb chops are definitely manly treats, but my dad tries to stay away from red meat. This only leaves one option. Yup. You guessed it. PORK! There’s a bunch of great bone-in cuts of pork available, but ribs take the cake.
Ribs are so versatile because they pair well with so many different flavors. Yes, slathering them with BBQ sauce is the most obvious way to prepare ribs, but I wanted to try something different.
I found myself at Mariano’s last week, and while looking in the meat department, I decided to pick up two slabs of ribs so I could test my recipe (and have good blogging material) before the big eating-meat-on-a-bone day.
The following morning, I whisked together lots of freshly grated ginger, finely chopped garlic, finely chopped cilantro, sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, and a splash of rice wine vinegar for some acidity. I cut the slabs in half, crosswise, so I could fit each slab in a zip-top bag. I then poured an equal amount of the marinade into the two bags. I removed any excess air, sealed up the bags and allowed the ribs to marinate for about 4 hours.
About an hour before the ribs made their way to the grill, I fired up the charcoal and started soaking some wood chips in water. I use a chimney starter (no lighter fluid, please!) to light my charcoal, and once the coals were red hot, I poured them on to just one side of the grill. This is called setting up a two-zone fire so you can cook and smoke by indirect heat. Ribs take a while to cook, and this technique allows the ribs to cook low and slow while picking up that quintessential smokiness of the wood chips and the charcoal.
Right before I put the marinated ribs on the grill, I sprinkled the soaked wood chips over the hot coals and then placed the ribs, meaty-side down, on the cooler side of the grill. I closed the lid, and let them smoke for about 30 minutes. I flipped them, sprinkled some more wood chips on the hot coals, and let them smoke for another 30 minutes.
By now the ribs were looking pretty awesome, but they still needed a little bit more love.
I added a few more briquettes to my pile of ashen coals to get the fire going again. Now that the ribs were smoky and delicious, I wrapped them in foil and continued to cook them over the cool side of the grill with the lid closed for an additional hour or so. This step helps to make the meat really tender to the point where it almost wants to fall off the bone.
I then unwrapped them and carefully moved them to the hotter side of the grill, right above my charcoal (depending on your grill, you may need to once again add a few briquettes to stoke up the fire). This gave me the opportunity to crisp them up, and form a nice crust.
Once the crispy, golden crust had developed, I basted them with hoisin sauce. Be sure to baste the boney side first, and then flip them over and baste the meaty side.
I let them rest for about ten minutes, cut them into individual ribs and chowed down! I served them with grilled pineapple, grilled asparagus and steamed rice. I would say this was a pretty successful experiment, and I anticipate that the dads feasting at our house will feel the love. Now that's a great Father's Day gift!
Oh, and for dinner tonight? Hello leftovers… fried rice with smoky pork, pineapple and asparagus.
Want to learn how to grill with indirect heat? We offer grilling classes at our Lincoln Square location all summer!