Greek-Style Cheater Ribs

From Ron Shewchuk

2015 Jul/Aug

These ribs are wonderfully tender, they taste great, and they don’t take all day to cook. This Greek treatment is excellent, but once you’ve got the ribs pre-cooked, you can finish them any way you like.


  • 2 racks of side or back pork ribs, trimmed by your butcher
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 t. peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 jar mint jelly
  • fresh mint for garnish
  • For the rub, whisk together these ingredients:
  • 1 T. each, dried (not powdered) oregano, dried mint, dried basil, dried rosemary
  • 1 t. dried parsley
  • 1 T. sea salt
  • 1 T. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t. granulated garlic


Remove the membrane from the ribs if your butcher hasn’t already done it for you (see the sidebar tips for how to do this relatively easily). Fill a large pot with cold water and completely submerge the ribs in the water. Add the onion, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring the water just to a boil. Quickly skim off the scum that forms on the top of the water and reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer the ribs for about 1-1/4 hours, or until the bones start to poke out of the meat. Take the ribs out of the water and cool them on a cooking sheet until they’re easy to handle.

Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with the rub and drizzle them with a light coating of olive oil.

Put the mint jelly in a saucepan and gently heat it until it’s liquid. Set it aside and keep it warm.

Grill the ribs for 3 – 4 minutes on each side, applying the melted mint jelly with a basting brush as you turn them. Remove them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes. Cut them into single ribs, garnish with some chopped mint, and serve with classic accompaniments, like Greek salad and roasted potatoes.
Serves 4 to 6.