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Country-style ribs make moist grilled pork

  • AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN / AP

    Grilled pork skewers are served with an onion and caper relish.

For grilled pork skewers that were moist and flavorful, we turned to boneless country-style ribs, which are quick-cooking and tender, yet have enough fat to keep them from drying out.

The flavorful North African- inspired seasonings of garlic, lemon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon did double duty, first in a marinade and later in a basting sauce.

As a base for a relish, we grilled onions with the pork, combining them with a zesty mix of olives, capers, balsamic vinegar and parsley for a bright, potent sauce that perfectly complemented the skewers.

You will need six 12-inch metal skewers for this recipe.

Grilled Spiced Pork Skewers With Onion Relish

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless country- style pork ribs, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • >> Relish:
  • 2 onions, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • Pepper, to taste
  • >> Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Whisk marinade ingredients together in medium bowl. Measure out and reserve 2 tablespoons marinade. Combine remaining marinade with pork in 1-gallon zipper-lock bag and toss to coat. Press out as much air as possible and seal bag. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, flipping bag every 30 minutes.

Remove pork from bag and pat dry with paper towels. Thread tightly onto 4 12-inch metal skewers. Thread onion rounds for relish onto 2 skewers and brush with 1 tablespoon oil.

For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (4-1/2 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover; open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover; heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.

Clean and oil cooking grate. Place pork and onion skewers on grill and cook (covered if using gas), turning skewers every 2 minutes and basting pork with reserved marinade, until pork is browned and registers 145 degrees internally, and onions are slightly charred and tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer pork and onions to cutting board and tent with foil. Let pork rest.

Meanwhile, make relish: Coarsely chop onions and combine with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, olives, capers, vinegar and parsley. Season with pepper to taste.

Using tongs, slide pork off skewers onto serving platter. Serve with relish. Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 371 calories, 29 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 726 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 21 g protein

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