Dinner of the Week: Perfect Grilled Ribs and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Evan and I have been grilling ribs since college, and there are few meals that he enjoys more than a plate of juicy, fall-off-the-bone ribs.  The trick is to season the ribs well and slow-cook them for several hours over a hot grill.  Here is our favorite way to grill up the perfect rack of ribs for a special dinner for two or family barbecue.

Perfect Grilled Ribs and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients for two: 
– 1 rack of ribs
– Favorite rub of choice
– Favorite barbecue sauce of choice
– 7-8 red potatoes
– 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
– 1/2 tsp. black pepper
– 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
– Butter or margarine to taste

If you happen to have time, it’s is best to prepare the ribs night before or morning of the meal — that way, the herbs and spices can properly permeate the ribs.  Whenever ready, remove the plastic packaging from the ribs and wash them thoroughly to remove any excess preservatives and fluids.  Lay the rack on top of a large cutting board.
Flip the ribs over.  There’s going to be a thin, rubbery membrane on the back of them that can be removed before grilling. 

To remove the membrane, slice it lengthwise with a sharp knife and pry it off using your fingers.  It’ll be a little gross, but it’s worth it.

This is what the ribs will look like afterward:

Then, cut the ribs into two to make grilling them a little more manageable. 
Douse the ribs with your favorite spice rub and pat it all over to ensure that it’s covered nicely.
Don’t forget the backside of the ribs, too!

Once you’re ready to begin grilling, start up the grill.  You can cook ribs on both a gas grill and charcoal grill.  In our experience, charcoal is best because ribs can take several hours and that’d be a lot of gas to go through.  If you choose to go with charcoal, build up a large pile and light it appropriately.

It is best grill ribs over indirect heat to avoid charring.  Once the charcoal turns gray, move them to one side of the grill and place the grill plate over top.

If you’d like a great, smoky flavor, try using a smoker box.  We filled ours up with hickory chips and two sections’ worth of a rich lager beer.

Then, place the smoker box on top of the grill and the ribs over top, on the opposite side of the coals.  If you don’t have a smoker box, just place it directly onto the grill plate, but away from the burning coals.  Close the lid of the grill to retain heat.  It is best to keep the grill between 200-250 degrees for 3-4 hours.  There’s no need to flip the ribs during this phase of grilling.

Approximately a half hour before the ribs are finished, you may start on the side dish.  Begin by washing and patting dry the red potatoes.

Peel off the eyes but leave the majority of the skin intact for some great texture.

Dice up the potatoes accordingly.

Fill a large pot halfway with water, place the potatoes in it, and bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes.  The potatoes are cooked properly once they can be pierced easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, check on the ribs to see how they are doing.

By this time, they should be about done, so it’s time to begin basting them.  Remove the smoker box and place them directly onto the grill, upside down.  Baste them both with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Cover the lid and grill some more.

After 10-15 minutes, flip them over and baste the top of them with the same sauce.  Cover again.

Once the potatoes have finished, drain them and place them into a large mixing bowl, along with your cheese, garlic salt, black pepper, butter or margarine, milk, and fresh rosemary.

 Mix well with a handheld mixer or Kitchenaid stand mixer, until creamy and smooth.  Add more milk to reach the desired consistency.

Pull the ribs off the grill and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

These ribs are perfectly juicy and pull apart with ease.  The spice rub adds such a great crunch to them, as well.

I love these mashed potatoes, too.  So quick and easy, yet packed full of fresh flavor.  
Hope you enjoy these ribs and mashed potatoes as much as we do!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

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