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Jerk Short Ribs

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Saturday night we had our good friends George (of Manimal Wear apparel) and Maeghan over for dinner.  It was a great evening – a chance to unwind, shoot the breeze, enjoy a couple of hard ciders (except Maeghan, who has just over a month before their little one arrives!), and share some good food.  And despite the fact that we were awaken to a very wet and gray Saturday (especially after the gorgeous Friday we had), I still was able to grill up some beef short ribs rubbed with a homemade jerk seasoning for the main course.  It helps that the grill is on the covered porch I guess…

Gather Up:

  • 5-1/2 lbs grass-fed beef short ribs (these aren’t the thin riblet cuts from the grocery store, but instead about 2 to 2-1/2 inches thick with multiple layers of meat and marbling)
  • 1 tbsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 16 cloves, ground in a mortar & pestle (about 1/2 tsp)

Combine all of the spices together in a small prep bowl.  Remove the silver skin membrane from the bone side of the ribs.  Sprinkle the spice mixture onto the rib pieces on all sides and then rub in well with your hands to work it into the meat (and fat) a bit.  Obviously the bone side will not take as much rub as the cut ends and top – so don’t waste too much on that side.  Allow the meat to rest with the rub on it for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator (or longer if you like).

When you are ready to cook, get the grill warmed up to indirect low (180 degrees) and set up for smoking.  I had hickory pellets in the grill for this meal.  When you’ve got things up to temperature and a good smoke going, place the ribs – bone side up – on the grill and smoke for 30 minutes.

After the ribs have smoked, increase the heat to medium (about 325 to 350 degrees) and turn them all over (bone side down).  Continue cooking until a quick-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat reads 145 degrees.  The meat should also be pulling back from the rib bones a bit and you’ll have a nice crust on the outside.

While I didn’t manage to get a photo on the plate (we were too busy talking and eating), you can serve these by using a sharp knife to separate the rib bones from the meat and then slice across the “grain.”  Add some jicama “sticks” with fresh guacamole, and a salad of fresh CSA greens and some lemon vinaigrette dressing and you’ve got a meal good enough to share with friends.  A little strawberry crisp for dessert is just, well, icing on the cake I guess.

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