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Cornmeal and Green Peppercorn Crusted Spareribs

Lisa Romerein

Servings: six to eight.

Prepare this recipe the day before you plan to serve it; that way, the ribs will absorb more flavor from the crust as they rest overnight.


  • 3/4 lb. (2 cups) medium-grind yellow cornmeal
  • 2 oz. (3/4 cup) dried green peppercorns
  • 1 oz. kosher salt (1/4 cup if using Diamond Crystal brand; 2 Tbs. if using Morton)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted bacon fat
  • 1 Tbs. bourbon, preferably Evan Williams Kentucky Straight
  • 2 racks St. Louis-style pork spareribs (5 to 6 lb. total), silverskin removed

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 600
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 340
  • Fat (g): 38
  • Saturated Fat (g): 13
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16
  • Cholesterol (mg): 130
  • Sodium (mg): 810
  • Carbohydrates (g): 25
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 38


  • Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for indirect cooking over low (300°F) heat.

    In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, peppercorns, salt, maple syrup, oil or bacon fat, and bourbon. Coat the meat side of the ribs with the mixture and wrap each rack in foil.

    Arrange the ribs meat side up in a single layer over the cool zone of the grill. Close the lid and cook the ribs until fork-tender, 3 to 31/2 hours. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. (If refrigerating overnight, let the ribs sit at room temperature for 1 hour before continuing.)

    To serve, remove the ribs from the foil; scrape off the crust and reserve. Reheat the ribs meat side down over a medium-low (350°F) direct gas or charcoal grill fire until nicely browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Flip the ribs and pat or sprinkle with about half of the reserved crust (discard the rest). Cook until hot, 3 to 4 minutes more. Cut between the ribs and serve sprinkled with any of the cornmeal crust that fell off while carving.

Serve with Grilled Corn with Spiced Tasso Butter and Grilled Butter Lettuce with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing. A Limoncello-Gin Cocktail is the perfect drink for this menu, and for dessert, serve an airy and bright Strawberries and Cream Semifreddo.  


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • jc0730 | 12/13/2010

    An awful lot of work without a whole lot of return.

  • LBGrillmaster | 07/06/2010

    The cornmeal mix was way too salty. I just scraped most of it off and tossed it. The ribs were tender and tasty and they did pick up good flavor. I did not have the brand of kosher salt they recomended so perhaps that messed things up. I plan on trying this again with 25% of the recomended salt and more bacon grease.

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