Yield: Serves 4
Advance Preparation: 4 to 12 hours for marinating the ribs
FOR THE MARINADE:
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (save the other half for the relish)
1/2 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (save the other half for the relish, recipe follows)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
Fresh ginger (1-inch piece), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup coconut milk or 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch fresh cilantro (or parsley), washed, shaken dry, stemmed and finely chopped (reserve 3 tablespoons for the relish)
2 racks of baby back ribs (4 to 5 pounds)
Piri Piri Relish (recipe follows)
1. MAKE THE MARINADE: Place the bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade. Puree to a coarse paste by pulsing the machine. Pour the lime juice and the coconut milk in through the feed tube and pulse again to mix. Add half the cilantro and pulse the machine to mix.
2. Prepare the ribs. Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of each rack of ribs: Turn a rack meat-side down. Insert a sharp implement, such as the tip of a meat thermometer, under the membrane (the best place to start is right next to the first rib bone). Using a dishcloth or pliers to gain a secure grip, pull off the membrane. Repeat with the other rack.
3. Place the ribs in a roasting pan. Pour the marinade over them, turning several times to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight–the longer, the richer the flavor.
4. Drain the ribs well and thread the ribs onto the rotisserie spit. Using a sharp, slender knife, and starting on the bone side, make starter holes in the meat between every two ribs. Twist the knife blade to widen the holes. This makes it easier to insert the spit.
Use an over-and-under weaving motion to thread the ribs, through the holes, onto the spit.
5. Set up the grill for spit-roasting and preheat to high.
6. When ready to cook, attach the spit to the rotisserie mechanism and turn on the motor. Grill the ribs, covered, until golden brown and cooked through, 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on their size. The ribs are done when the meat has shrunk back about 1/4-
inch from the ends of the bones.
7. Transfer the spit with the ribs to a cutting board. Carefully pull out the skewer. Cut each rack of ribs into 2 bone segments. Spoon a little Piri Piri Relish over the ribs, serving the rest on the side. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve at once.
Piri Piri Relish
Yield: About 1 cup
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 to 4 piri piri peppers (or other pickled hot peppers or fresh chiles), minced
2 tablespooons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) or freshly ground black pepper
Place the onion, pepper, tomatoes, piri piri peppers, olive oil, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl and stir to mix. Add salt and pepper and additional lime juice, if needed, to taste.