A few months ago, we got to spend the night with my friend Josie. We were on our way home from Alabama and stopped at her house for the evening. I was obviously thrilled about being able to hang out in the kitchen again with one of my best friends. Josie picked this recipe, and we all loved it. Eric and I have made it a couple times since then, and it’s a hit every time. Of course, whenever we make this, I think of Josie and her awesome family and how much fun we all had together – the two of us cooking, Eric and Joey talking about craft beer and playing outside with all the kids. It was one of those perfect moments, where everything just felt right. I love how food can create memories like that, and I only wish we lived closer together so that we could make them more often!
This recipe calls for a cut of meat I had never used before – country-style pork ribs. They’re tender and quick cooking, which means you can get this meal on the table faster than you might think. The meat is marinated with a fragrant spice mixture before being grilled, and it comes off the grill moist and delicious. Some of the marinade is mixed with honey and butter to create a sauce for the tomato relish, which, combined with the juice of grilled lemons, makes the relish bright and flavorful. Simply put, this recipe is an all-around winner. There’s still plenty of summer left, so make the most of it and enjoy this meal before tomatoes are out of season.
- YIELD: 4-6 servings
¼ cup vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
6 green onions
Grate 1 tablespoon of lemon zest over a large bowl. Halve both lemons and set aside. Add oil, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon to bowl with lemon zest and whisk together. Set aside 2 tablespoons marinade. Toss the pork in the remaining marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Remove pork from marinade and thread onto four 12-inch metal skewers so pieces are touching; discard any remaining used marinade. Thread tomatoes onto three 12-inch metal skewers.
Combine butter, honey and reserved marinade in small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until butter is melted and mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute. Divide honey mixture evenly between 2 bowls, a small one for grilling and a large one for the tomato relish.
For a charcoal grill, prepare coals and spread evenly across the grill. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes. For a gas grill, turn burners to high. Cover and heat until hot, about 15 minutes, then reduce heat to medium.
Clean and oil the cooking grate. Place the green onions, pork, tomatoes and lemon halves, cut side down, on the grill. Grill pork (covered if using gas), turning every 2 minutes and basting with the honey mixture, for 12-15 minutes or until the meat reaches 140ºF. Grill the green onions, tomatoes and lemon halves until they are charred, turning as needed. Transfer each to a clean platter as they finish grilling.
Tent pork loosely with aluminum foil. Slide the tomatoes into the bowl with the remaining honey mixture. Coarsely chop the green onions and add to the tomatoes, then squeeze the lemon halves over the tomato mixture. Use a fork to coarsely mash the tomatoes into a relish. Stir in any accumulated juices from the pork and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve the skewers with the tomato relish spooned on top.