On this week’s trip to the grocery store I noticed something I hadn’t seen before – pork riblets. They were on sale so I bought them out of curiosity. It turns out that they are the meaty end cuts of regular pork ribs, some quite small, but others rather large. I decided to make barbecued ribs so I made an easy marinade using some tamarind paste as the main flavor and let them marinate overnight. The next day they got a slow roast in the oven, followed by a quick sear in my grill pan, brushing with extra marinade until they got nice and crisp. I was amazed at how tender they were, and despite how much the riblets shrank during roasting time, they still were plenty meaty, even the small ones. I can’t wait to try it at a real outdoor barbecue this summer!
Tamarind Barbecue Pork Ribs
3 pounds pork ribs (or riblets)
1/4 cup tamarind paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Mix everything together in a large bowl and cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Transfer the ribs and marinade to a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 2 hours. Transfer the ribs to a plate and pour any leftover marinade into a small bowl. It will be separated so whisk it briefly until emulsified.
Heat up your grill or grill pan. Oil it lightly then put on the ribs. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes, then brush with the marinade and turn the ribs over. Repeat until all the marinade is finished. Serve immediately.