Barbecued Brined Veal Ribs

Columbus Meats** always has veal ribs. Normally I make an Italian tomato based sugo (sauce) brown them then simmer in it for a few hours. We then serve the sauce with pasta for a primo (1st course)  followed by the veal as our secondo (2nd course). Brining is big these days, so I thought why don’t we try brining the ribs and slow barbecuing them? Here is the result. We have a Weber kettle barbecue and used Weekend Warrior natural charcoal, a long burning charcoal. If using a gas barbecue, check the instructions for how to do slow barbecuing.

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

4 to 6 whole veal ribs, cut partway through (ask your butcher to do this)

Brining Solution:

12 cups of water
12 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. kosher salt
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves
4 juniper berries, crushed
1 tsp. black peppercorns
4 fresh rosemary sprigs

**Juniper berries are available at Galloway’s, Dussa’s at Granville Island or other stores that carry a good variety of herbs & spices.

Place all ingredients into a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar & salt. Cool to room temperature.  This can be done the day before and then stored in the fridge.

Place the veal ribs into a large container and pour the cooled brine solution over top. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 24 hours.

Preheat your barbecue. Place a drip pan under the grill in the middle with the coals on either side (this is called the indirect method). It is a good idea to use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature which should be around 300 to 325 F maximum.

Season the ribs with freshly ground black pepper and fennel pollen** and rub with EVO.Pour about 1/2″ water into the drip pan.   Place the ribs over the drip pan in the barbecue and cover with the barbecue lid. Cook for 1 ½ hours, checking the temperature so that it remains between 300 & 325 F, regulating by opening & closing top vent. The bottom vent should remain fully open. After 1 ½ hours, turn ribs over, replace lid and continue to cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours longer.

**Note: when slow barbecuing, it is a good idea to have a reserve of hot coals ready to add if the fire cools down and is not maintaining the correct temperature.

**To find Columbus Meats & South China Seas for fennel pollen, please go to my Source List.

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