Notes: We featured Dinosaur Bones, named for their size and prehistoric appearance, in September 1971. Beef back rib bones are trimmed from the rib roast. Some butchers call them beef spare ribs. Don't confuse back ribs with beef short ribs, a tougher cut suited to braising.
6 pounds beef back rib bones (6 to 8 in.), fat trimmed
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons tomato-based chili sauce
How to Make It
Cut ribs into 4- to 6-rib sections. Wipe with a damp towel.
In a heavy-duty gallon-size plastic food bag, combine 3/4 cup water, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and chili sauce. Pour half this mixture into another heavy-duty gallon-size plastic food bag. Put 1/2 the ribs in each bag, seal, and turn over several times to mix well. Set bags in a bowl and refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 1 day, turning bags over several times.
Prepare barbecue for indirect heat.
If using charcoal briquets, mound and ignite 60 briquets on the firegrate of a barbecue with a lid. When briquets are dotted with gray ash, in 15 to 20 minutes, push equal amounts to opposite sides of firegrate. Add 5 more briquets to each mound of coals now and every 30 minutes while cooking. Set a drip pan on firegrate between coals.
If using a gas barbecue, turn all burners to high and close lid for 10 minutes. Adjust burners for indirect cooking (no heat down center) and keep on high.
Lift ribs from marinade and lay on grill, but not over heat source. Cover grill (open vents for charcoal). If there is not enough space for all the ribs, cook in sequence. Discard marinade. Cook until ribs are browned and have reached desired doneness, about 25 minutes for rare (red at bone, cut to test), 35 minutes for medium-well (no longer pink at bone).