Serves 2 to 4
Perfect for the grill, beef ribs are more readily available in summer - when the demand for boneless steaks increases. I actually prefer them to a steak, because there's a bit of meat and all that bone to chew on. They are sold in racks or cut into individual ribs; ask your butcher for meaty ones. This is serious finger food. Grill them rare or medium-rare, but don't go past that.
  • 8 meaty beef ribs, about 2 pounds (1 kg)
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 packed cup (70 g) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) lager beer
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon five-spice powder
1. If the ribs are still joined together, cut them into individual pieces. Place them in a shallow baking dish, meat side down.
2. Mix the hoisin sauce, sugar, and vinegar in a bowl. Gradually stir in the beer, then add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and five-spice powder and mix well. Pour the marinade over the ribs, turning them to coat, then turn them meat side down again. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. One hour before cooking, remove the ribs from the refrigerator. Preheat the grill or broiler to high.
3. Transfer the ribs to a platter, and pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 12 to 15 minutes, until reduced to 1 cup (250 ml).
4. Grill or broil the ribs, turning to cook on all four sides and brushing them with the reduced marinade, for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, 16 to 20 minutes total. Serve any remaining marinade as a dipping sauce.

From Bones: Recipes, History, & Lore by Jennifer McLagan. Published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. © 2005 by Jennifer McLagan. Used with permission.