Grilled Country Ribs with Melon Salad

This is a recipe inspired by dear friends. We're using a very interesting cut of pork that has a lot of marbling and fat. This, combined with the "Jason Monroe Triple-Dip" marinade method, makes a lip-smacking, simple summer dish paired with a refreshing tomato-melon salad.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 6 hr 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

For The Marinade

1 tablespoon sambal (Thai chili paste)

1/2 cup Palm sugar

4 sprigs cilantro stems and leaves

1/2 onion, sliced

1 knob ginger, fresh, minced

6 Garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup soy sauce, thin

3 Scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons Chinese mustard

3 pounds country-style pork ribs

For The Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted, roughly cracked

1 tablespoon minced shallot

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

For The Tomato-melon Salad

2 pints cherry tomatoes, washed and halved, Sungold preferred brand

1 cup watermelon (or other seasonal melon),rind and seeds removed, sliced into 1/4 in. pieces

1 cup watermelon (or other seasonal melon), rind and seeds removed, sliced into 1/4 in. pieces

Vinaigrette, to taste

6 sprigs cilantro, fresh, to garnish

Directions

  1. FOR THE VINAIGRETTE: Toast green coriander seeds for approximately 2-3 minutes in a dry skillet. Place the seeds on a cutting board and crush the seeds with the bottom of a skillet. Add them to a mixing bowl. Chop the shallots, adding salt to help with the mincing later. Using a microplane, zest the rind of one lemon over the shallots. Mince these ingredients together. Add this mixture to the coriander seeds. Add lemon juice and vinegar to the mixture. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt and pepper. Macerate for five minutes. Using a whisk, slowly whisk the EVOO into the coriander shallot mixture until well combined. Taste for salt, adjust seasoning as necessary, and set aside.
  2. FOR THE MARINADE: Combine the onion, garlic, scallions (using most of the white), coarsely chopped cilantro, ginger, sesame oil, chili paste, soy sauce and palm sugar in a large mixing bowl. Smear the Chinese mustard onto the ribs and cover the ribs with the marinade. Marinate the ribs the morning you plan to cook them (6 to 8 hours ahead).
  3. Light the charcoal using a chimney starter. Place real-wood charcoal into the chimney. Place several sheets of loosely crumpled newspaper under the bottom of the chimney. Ensure the charcoal is red hot, should take approximately 20-25 minutes.
  4. Place the grill grate about 1 to 2 inches above the coals to let it heat up. Remove the ribs from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and wiping off all ingredients from the ribs. Chargrill each rib for approximately 5 minutes per side, or until cooked medium well and caramelized. Dip each rib back into the marinade and continue grilling for an additional minute per side to enhance the charred flavor. Repeat dipping process once more.
  5. FOR THE TOMATO-MELON SALAD: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes and watermelon. Dress with 1/4 cup of the coriander vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Arrange the country ribs on a serving platter. Spoon the tomatoes and watermelon over the ribs. Top with cilantro and serve.