Take a trip to Tuscany without leaving the backyard thanks to this marinated pork rib recipe.
In Italy pork on the grill, carne di maiale alla griglia, is extremely popular. There are some butcher shops that specialize in only pork products, and many carry wild boar. Nothing is wasted, not even the intestines, brains, or blood. But ribs are rarely separated from the loin meat and they are rarely served in slabs as is popular in the US. Ribs are more likely to be found in the form of rib roasts and rib chops. Below is the world’s most famous butcher, Dario Cecchini in his centuries old shop in tiny Panzano-in-Chianti with a rib section he will use to make his succulent herbed roast, porchetta.
Tuscan farmers love their herbs as much as their pork so the two are often combined. Here’s a technique you might find used in a Trattoria or farmhouse in Tuscany. The ribs can be roasted indoors or out. We start with a great herbal oil and vinegar salad dressing recipe from my Italian American wife (she is the best cook in the family), and then we modify it to make a marinade. The result is much different than normal American ribs, but really quite subtle and complex. Click this link to learn more about how marinades work.
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Serve with: a Tuscan red wine.
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Prep. Pour the marinade and salt into a large zippered bag, zip and shake.
- Cut the slab in half and add the halves to the bag, coat all sides, and toss them in the fridge for at least 1 hour, 6 is better. Every 30 minutes shake up the bag.
- Fire up a smoker or setup a grill for 2-zone indirect heat and pre-heat to about 225°F. Do not add smoke. That's right, leave out the wood. We're going smokeless here. We want the pork and herb flavors to dominate.
- Cook. Add the ribs to the smoker or the indirect heat side of the grill and allow them to roast slowly.
- Every 30 minutes or so mop the meaty side of ribs with the marinade until it runs out. Continue to cook for about 5 hours until the surface cracks when you pick them up with tongs from one end, a.k.a. the "bend test". Click here to learn how to tell when the ribs are ready. Do not mop during the last 30 minutes to prevent contamination with microbes transferred from the meat to the marinade.