I am not a wintertime grill fan. I like braising in the winter, and I like tomatoes in August. But come April, which begins sooner than you think, it’s time to clean the grill and get cooking. This pineapple glaze for ribs is absurdly wonderful and can be used on chicken as well as pork.
Pineapple Glazed Baby Back Ribs
3 racks of trimmed baby back ribs
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. sea salt
2 T. minced garlic
2 T. olive oil
2 T. cider vinegar
1 small onion, chopped
1 whole bunch cilantro
1 handful fresh mint
1 fresh Serrano chile
Combine herbs, spices, liquids, and seasonings by pulsing in a blender. Rub mixture into ribs, let stand overnight in fridge.
Grill over indirect low heat, maintaining a temperature of 275–300 degrees for 120–150 minutes or until ribs have shrunk back from the rib tips and meat is roasty toasty and fork-tender.
Baste with pineapple glaze during last 5 minutes of cooking. If you like, char ribs over high, direct heat for 2–3 minutes before serving.
1 qt. pineapple juice . . . fresh-squeezed is amazing, and if you have a juicer, use it for this.
1 t. red chile flakes
2 c. sake
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. mirin
Reduce all ingredients at a simmer until glazey. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.