• Yield: 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.

Jennifer McLagan
Jennifer McLagan has presented at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Master Class Series and the Epicurean Classic in Michigan. Her writing has appeared in Fine Cooking, Food & Drink, The Country Grapevine and The Niagara Grapevine. She is the author of Bones, which won the James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook; Fat, which won the James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook and was named Cookbook of the Year by the Beard Foundation; and Odd Bits.