Here’s the best way I’ve ever found to do venison ribs, a cut of meat that is often underutilized or simply ground into sausage meat. It’s based on a recipe stolen from Steven Raichlen’s very excellent The Barbecue Bible, though my brother Matt added a couple of key steps to make it the perfect preparation for summertime wild game grilling.
Step 1: Using a hacksaw or bone saw cut a rack of venison ribs perpendicular to the bones, so that you get three strips of connected rib bones that are about five or six inches long. Then cut these trips into pieces containing three or four ribs apiece. Plan on two or three pieces per person – say about five or six pounds of ribs for six folks. You want them to look like this:
Step 2: Place the ribs into a pressure cooker and add just enough water to cover them. Cook at full pressure for thirty minutes. By then, the ribs should be tender enough for the meat to fall off the bone.
Step 3: Remove the ribs from the pressure cooker, let them cool, and then give them a generous rub-down with your favorite dry rub (blends meant for pork ribs are ideal). Or if you’re feeling ambitious, make up a batch based on Raichlen’s recommended blend by combining the following ingredients.
1/4 cup paprika
1 ½ Tablespoons ground black pepper
1 ½ Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons celery salt
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
Step 4: Combine the following to make a mop sauce for glazing:
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup yellow mustard
Step 5: Fire up your outdoor grill and lay out the ribs in a single layer on the rack. Since they’re already cooked, you’re just looking to give them a light char and get them crisp. Flip often, and mop on a generous coat of the glaze each time they flip. Continue cooking until the bones start to blacken and the meat has acquired the color of ribby goodness – say about ten or fifteen minutes. Serve with dill pickles and you’ll be in heaven.