--"And about business decisions," he says, "Dad's advice was very simple: 'Will it make you smile?' I follow this one strictly."
Most ribs are indirect grilled or smoked. Ben slathers these with Dijon mustard, then minced garlic, and then soy sauce; then he direct grills them over a wood fire. This puts the emphasis on the meat, not the smoke. Not your traditional barbecue, but no less delectable.
2 racks of baby back ribs (pick racks that are on the smaller side for quicker grilling)
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
The best quality soy sauce
Arrange the ribs on a baking sheet and remove the membrane. Generously season the ribs on both sides with salt and pepper. Thickly slather the ribs with mustard on both sides. Sprinkle the garlic on top and sprinkle soy sauce on top of that. Let the ribs marinate at room temperature while you light and preheat your grill.
Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium (with one zone medium-low). Ideally, you'll grill on an oak or other hardwood fire (the logs should be burned down to embers). If grilling over charcoal, at very least toss some hardwood chunks on the coals.
Place the ribs bone side down on the grate over the medium fire zone. Grill until the bottoms are browned and the ribs are mostly cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. If bottom starts to brown too much, move the ribs to the medium-low zone. Sprinkle the ribs a couple times with soy sauce.
Turn the ribs over and grill until the top (rounded side) is browned and the ribs are cooked, 6 to 8 minutes more. (To check for doneness, cut between the two thickest ribs -- you should see only the faintest trace of pink, which will fade as the ribs continue to cook off the grill.)
Transfer ribs to a platter and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes, then cut crosswise into two bone portions for serving. Serve with bowls of mustard and soy sauce.
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(Five-time James Beard Award-winning author Steven Raichlen wrote "The Barbecue! Bible" cookbook series (Workman Publishing) and hosts "Primal Grill" on PBS. He recently wrote his first novel "Island Apart" (Forge). His web site is BarbecueBible.com. One for the Table is Amy Ephron's online magazine that specializes in food, politics, and love. http://www.oneforthetable.com)