Maciek Zurawski, aka Grillin’ with Dad
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Pistachio Crusted Pork Spare Ribs
- 1 rack of spare pork ribs
- 1/4 cup of your favorite bbq/pork seasoning
- 1/4 cup Lillie’s Q Carolina BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- Pat dry the ribs and remove the membrane on the back. Using a butter knife or paper towel will make it easier
- Season both sides of the ribs with the bbq rub and let sit at room temperature while you preheat the grill.
- Set the grill for low, indirect heat, between 225-250 degrees.
- Place the ribs bone side down on the grill and cook for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, place the ribs meat side down on aluminum foil and add the butter, honey and brown sugar. Wrap the ribs tightly in the foil and place back on the grill, meat side down for an additional 1-1.5 hours.
- Remove the ribs from the grill and the foil and place directly on the grill, bone side down. Brush on the bbq sauce and cook an additional 15-20 minutes, until the sauce sets and the ribs are probe tender.
- Remove the grill and top with the chopped pistachios. Slice between the bones and serve.
Slow smoked bbq pork ribs are one of my favorite foods. There’s just something special about the tender, sweet, sticky ribs that always hits the spot. So how can we improve that? By adding pistachios! This pistachio crusted spare ribs recipe is easy to follow and comes out delicious!
Step 1: The Prep
There are a lot of different way of prepping and cooking pork ribs. I like to stick with the traditional method and that’s what I will do here.
I always start by trimming the end pieces from the rib rack. The thinner pieces will usually burn off during the cook so I like to remove them first and cook them alongside the ribs. They make for a tasty snack before the full rack is finished.
I also remove the membrane from the back of the ribs (the bone side). This will allow our run to better penetrate the meat and will give the ribs a better “bite” after they are cooked.
After the ribs are trimmed, season them evenly on both sides. You can use any bbq rub you like here. I went with Fox Bros classic rub on my ribs. It’s a good everyday rub that’s not too sweet. It will be perfect for our pistachio crusted spare ribs.
Step 2: The Cook
After the ribs are seasoned they are ready to hit the smoker/grill. The main thing to keep in mind when cooking ribs is the temperature. I like to do mine between 225-250 degrees, indirect heat. The ribs need time to get tender and to let the smoke flavor the meat.
This rack went on the Big Green Egg, indirect at 250 degrees for about 2 hours. If you’re using any other grill, be sure you’re cooking these with indirect heat, otherwise they will burn. After the 2 hours, remove the rack from the smoker, place the ribs on a sheet of aluminum foil and top with butter and agave syrup.
The butter will add more richness to the meat and the agave syrup will provide the sweetness. You can substitute honey for the agave syrup as well.
Wrap the ribs tightly in the foil and put them back on the smoker, for about an hour to an hour and a half. And this time put them meat side down. Cooking the ribs in the foil will get them very tender. The longer they sit in the foil the more tender they will become.
Once they are ready, remove the ribs from the foil, flip them so they are meat side up and brush with your favorite bbq sauce.
At this point, the ribs are done but they still need a little bit more time on the grill. After they are sauced, put them back on the grill to allow the sauce to thicken up a bit. This will also firm up the ribs, making them easier to handle. Leave them on for no longer than 15-20 minutes.
It’s Pistachio Time
Now comes the fun part. Pull the ribs from the grill, remove from the foil and top them with crushed pistachios. I used regular store bough pistachios, and I crushed them myself at home.
Get a nice even layer on the top of the ribs. The pistachios should easily stick to the bbq sauce.
Actually, now comes the fun part! Cut the ribs between the bones and enjoy!