Barbecue Almost Anything … But No Tails, Please

The primeval need to flash-up the grill is totally irresistible … an innate, desperate need passed down through time.am led to believe it is possible to create a time-honoured delicacy, which may or may not include some type of chocolate sauce.

I’ll keep you posted on that.

It seems, these days, that everyone is smoking something, so why don’t we do it with ribs? When you don’t want to boil a rib first, it will be a long business on the grill to prepare a truly tender rib.

For Thai smoked ribs, cook using indirect heat on your barbecue, you are going to need a smoke pouch for your woodchips. Take two cups of maple wood chips (substitute your chip of choice here) and soak in water for one hour.

After squeezing the water out, place moist chips in the centre of a piece of tinfoil and add another cup (250 ml.) of dry chips, folding up the corners of the foil to create a handy pouch.

Preheat one side the grill to high (400F) and, after poking holes in your smoke pouch with a fork, place it under the grill on the heated side of the barbecue. Wait for the smoke.

When you have achieved the smoking phase, lower the heat under the pouch to medium (275F) and place ribs for indirect cooking, on the unheated side of the barbecue, for about two-and-one-half hours, basting in the last half-hour.

Before slapping three one-and-a-half-pound racks of baby-back ribs, membrane removed, on the grill, marinade them for four hours.

Make the marinade in a large bowl by whisking together a combination of two tablespoons peanut oil, two teaspoons sesame oil, two tablespoons fish sauce, two tablespoons minced garlic, one-quarter cup fresh cilantro, two stalks of lemon grass with the outside leaves removed and the centre thinly sliced, two tablespoons sugar, one tablespoon rice wine vinegar and the juice of two limes.

Make the dipping and basting sauce in a small bowl by whisking together one tablespoon rice wine vinegar, one-half cup pineapple juice, two tablespoons white sugar, one tablespoon chopped garlic, one teaspoon pure chili, one stalk of finely chopped lemon grass and the juice of two limes.

Use this to baste the ribs in the last half-hour of cooking and for dipping while you feast. You have just made Slow Smoked Thai Ribs.

People often come up to me in the street and ask, “Bwana, how can I reduce grilling time when I am cooking bratwurst?”

Easy: simmer the bratwurst in a mixture of water and beer, until the internal temperature reaches 160F, and puncture the casing with a fork before placing on the barbecue. Cook until outside is nice and crisp and brown.

Always be careful what you heat.