Barbecued Pineapple Ginger Ribs
Barbecuing is one of these cookery methods that can spark a thousand arguments over which is the best way to cook ribs. There is no single ‘best way’, of course, but these Barbecued Pineapple Ginger Ribs use a tried and true indirect heating method, followed by a simple trick, to produce a deliciously tangy, tender, and smoky result.
Here is the Rack of Ribs I am using for this recipe. These are Back Ribs, and very nice, meaty ones at that, but you can use any rib-cut you like. You can even substitute Beef ribs, for a change of pace, but, in my opinion, the Pineapple Ginger flavor works better with Pork.
To prepare the ribs, you need to make cuts down between the bones to allow the marinade to penetrate. Don’t cut all the way through; just make shallow incisions about a quarter inch or so into the meat. Do this on the underside as well, but just cut deep enough to score through the membrane. Some people like to actually peel away the whole membrane but I don’t really think this is necessary myself.
The next step is to prepare the pineapple-ginger marinade, some of which will be used for basting. To prepare this, put all the ingredients except the Ribs, Scallion and Jalapeno into a food processor and blend to moderately smooth.
Now mix in the scallion and the Jalapeno slices and pour the mix over your ribs in a suitable container. Put them into the refrigerator or some other suitably cool location and allow to marinate overnight. Depending on your container, you may wish to turn the ribs periodically to ensure all surfaces get time in the marinade.
After marinating, remove the ribs and scrape away any solids and reserve about a half-cup or so of the liquid portion of the marinade in a bowl. Stir in three or four tablespoons of sugar and a little oil to make a basting sauce.
I am using Hickory Wood Chips to make my smoke. Here there is about a cup or so which I soaked in water briefly so that they smoke more slowly. You can use Mesquite, or other wood chips for this, or you can omit smoking entirely.
I have to apologize for the quality of the picture here but you can see the general layout for the preliminary cooking just after I placed the ribs. The woodchips are not smoking quite yet but I could already smell the aroma. As I am cooking by indirect method, the burner under the ribs is not on while the other two were turned to high until the woodchips started smoking and then were turned down so that I could maintain a heat of between 300 and 350 degrees.
I cooked the ribs this way, basting periodically, for about an hour. For most people, longer would probably be preferred but, as I have mentioned in other posts, I like ribs cooked to the point before the meat actually starts to fall from the bone.
Once the ribs were cooked to tenderness, I moved them over to the hot part of the grill, turned up the flame and allowed some caramelization to occur, again basting several times during the process.
Now… here is a little trick you may or may not have heard about. All grilled or roasted meat should rest for a little while before serving but with ribs you can improve the texture by wrapping tightly in foil and then putting them in a brown paper bag (or newspaper, as I have done here). You let them sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes to an hour so that the juices and flavorings will be drawn back into the meat making it more tasty and tender. The paper will insulate them so that they are still warm when it comes time to eat but, if that is not the case, just a few minutes in the oven can bring them back to temperature.
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Barbecued Pineapple Ginger Ribs
- 1 Rack of Pork Ribs
- 1 19 oz can of Pineapple chunks or tidbits;
- 2-3 tbsp. fresh Ginger root finely minced;
- 4 tbsp. Sugar;
- 1 tsp. Fennel Seed coarsely ground;
- ½ tsp. Paprika;
- 1 tsp. Garlic Salt;
- 2 oz Dark Rum or more to taste (I like to taste quite a bit while I cook);
- 2 oz Mirin or Rice Wine;
- 1 Scallion chopped;
- 1 large Jalapeno Pepper thinly sliced.
- 1 Cup of Hickory Woodchips for Smoking optional
- Put all the ingredients except the Ribs, Scallion and Jalapeno into a food processor and blend to moderately smooth.
- Add the Jalapeno and Scallion to the processed ingredients and pour over the ribs in a suitable container.
- Marinate the ribs in the fridge for 24 hours, turning once or twice.
- After marinating, scrape away any solids from the ribs and reserve a cup or so of the liquid for basting.
- Cook the ribs in a closed barbecue away from direct flame for an hour or so, basting during the process, and smoking, if desired, by placing the woodchips in a pan over the flame at the beginning of the cooking process.
- Once cooked to the desired degree of tenderness, wrap the ribs in foil, and then in several layers of newspaper for 45 minutes or so to rest.
- Unwrap, reheat briefly for a few minutes if necessary, and serve.