Look for the meatiest ribs when planning a barbecue. Back ribs are best but side ribs, if not trimmed too close to the bone, make a succulent feast. Ribs can simply be marinated and grilled slowly over low heat but precooking ribs ensures juicier, more tender meat and the actual barbecuing takes only about 10 minutes per side — an important consideration when cooking ribs for a crowd. If using chopped fresh herbs, double the quantities given.
- Portion size 20 servings
In large stockpot, cover ribs with boiling water; cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until ribs are tender. Transfer ribs to large bowl to cool; strain and reserve liquid for soups if desired.
In separate bowl, combine oil, garlic, parsley, lemon rind, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, pepper, mint, allspice, cumin and cayenne. Pack ribs into large double plastic bag; pour in marinade, coating meat evenly. Tie bag closed, place in large bowl and marinate in refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours, turning bag over periodically. (Note: There is just enough marinade to cover ribs, not to swish all around.)
Before barbecuing, bring ribs to room temperature. Remove from bag, reserving any marinade, and place on well-greased grill about 4 inches (10 cm) from heat.
Barbecue for about 10 minutes per side or until meat comes away from bone, brushing occasionally with any marinade. Season each side with salt to taste after grilling.
Transfer to large board and with sharp knife or cleaver, cut into serving-size portions of 3 or 4 ribs. Cut lemons lengthwise into wedges; remove seeds. Garnish ribs with lemon wedges, lemon rind and thyme, if using.