Beautiful Bronto Beef Ribs

From Ron Shewchuk

2015 July/Aug

These are the ribs that tipped over Fred Flintstone’s car. You can use the rub on anything, but it goes exceptionally well with this dish.


For the rub:

  • 1 t. cumin seeds
  • 1 T. black peppercorns
  • 1 T. dried mushrooms (porcini, morels, or chanterelles work well)
  • 1 T. ground ancho chile
  • 1/2 t. ground chipotles or cayenne
  • 2 racks beef prime ribs, 6 to 8 bones per rack
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil


Lightly toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Grind the pepper, dried mushrooms, and toasted cumin seeds using a spice mill or electric coffee grinder until they are the consistency of coarse sand. Combine the mixture in a bowl with the ground ancho and chipotle chiles. Season the ribs with a generous coating of salt and then give them a light drizzle of oil. Coat them liberally with the rub and let the ribs sit for up to 1/2 hour, or until the rub starts to glisten.

Prepare the grill for medium indirect cooking with a pan to catch the drippings. (This means preheat the grill on high for 10 minutes, then turn the burners on one side to low, and turn the other side off.) Grill the ribs on the “off” side for 1 hour, turning them every 15 minutes or so and basting them with olive oil, until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the ribs reaches 140°F. For the last 10 minutes of the cooking time, put the ribs over direct heat to char and crisp them. You can finish these with your favourite barbecue sauce but I prefer them just like this. Serve them with classic barbecue accompaniments.

Alternative cooking method: For a whole other layer of flavour, smoke these ribs for 4 – 5 hours, using oak or mesquite as a flavouring agent, and finish them on the grill.
Serves 4 to 6.