This recipe is adapted from Phillip Schulz's book "Cooking with Fire & Smoke."
Beer and lime are a longtime Mexican drinking partnership, and the combination also makes a perfect marinade for short ribs. Serve hot with a cool mustard sauce and a six-pack of beer on the side. As Phillip says, this recipe is ideal for a good ol' boy who wants to drink beer while cooking or, of course, for a holiday. — Nathalie Dupree
2 racks baby back ribs
Freshly ground pepper
For the marinade:
1 cup of beer
1 to 2 cups lime juice
For the sauce:
3 egg yolks
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Remove the “fell” on the back of the ribs with a sharp knife when possible. Place the ribs in a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish. Mix together the beer and lime juice and pour over the ribs. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight, turning occasionally. Bring to room temperature before cooking if possible.
Preheat grill or an oven to 300 degrees. Remove the ribs from the marinade, saving the marinade, and move to 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, each large enough to make a packet to wrap and seal the ribs. Move one set of ribs to each foil sheet. Sprinkle 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of the marinade on each of the rib packets and seal into packets. Set aside the remaining marinade.
Prepare grill or oven. Cook (using a sided baking pan if using the oven) until the ribs are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (When using a charcoal grill, add more hot coals after 50 minutes to sustain the heat for the 1 to 1 1/2 hours of cooking time.)
Remove the ribs from the foil, drain, and place back on the grill or on a sided baking sheet. Bring the marinade to a boil to ensure the pork juices are cooked, and baste once with the reserved marinade and grill or broil until crisp, 15-20 minutes. Serve with the chilled mustard sauce on the side.
To make the mustard sauce, beat the egg yolks with lemon juice and mustard until thick, about 5 minutes, using a wire whisk or a small electric mixer. Slowly add the olive oil, continuing to mix. The sauce should have the consistency of a thin mayonnaise. Add parsley and chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Nathalie Dupree is the author of 14 cookbooks, including the James Beard award-winning “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.” She lives in Charleston and may be reached through Nathaliedupree.com.