Ribs are all the rage this month as the Brooklyn Kitchen hosts a class on how to slow-cook a rack on May 21. But you don’t have to wait until then to get cracking. “The New Brooklyn Cookbook” (remember that?) features a recipe courtesy of the General Greene in Fort Greene — a salt-pepper-sugar rub that’s dressed up with a spiced yogurt sauce. We can hear those lips smacking already.
Salt and pepper pork ribs with spiced yogurt sauce
From The General Greene
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
16 St. Louis–style pork ribs (about 2-1/2 pounds)
For the spiced yogurt sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons ground sumac (available in Middle Eastern markets) plus more for garnish
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Rub the ribs generously with the sugar mixture to completely coat the meat side. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To cook the ribs, place the ribs meat side up on a rimmed baking sheet and pour any liquid that has accumulated over the ribs.
Preheat the oven to 250. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Place an empty deep 9- by 13-inch baking pan on the floor of the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the pan — enough to fill it three-quarters full.
Place the baking sheet on the oven rack, above the pan of water, and cook the ribs, uncovered, for two-and-a-half hours, or until the meat is very tender. Set the ribs aside until they are just cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce. Sprinkle a cutting board with a pinch of salt. Place the minced garlic on top. (The salt will help to break down the garlic.) Use the flat side of a large knife to form a paste.
Combine the yogurt, sumac, lemon zest, and garlic paste in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Season to taste with salt.
Turn the ribs over so that the meat faces down and cut between the bones to separate the ribs.
To serve, spread a generous spoonful of yogurt sauce in the middle of each of four plates and place four ribs on each plate. Sprinkle with sumac and serve.