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Salt and Pepper Ribs

“I grew up in Memphis, and we cooked a lot on wood. I like to incorporate my history into the restaurant—we’ve got a wood-burning grill where we burn whatever local wood we can get at the time. These ribs have a light, smoky flavor, and the basic salt-and-pepper blend gives them a little kick—but nothing too spicy. Saba is made from a wine byproduct and adds a hint of earthiness. It’s the only crazy ingredient in this recipe; most everything else you’re already going to have lying around the house. I made this for a 60-person cocktail dinner, and doing all of the ribs was a cinch.”

Who Cullen Campbell, chef/owner 

Where Crudo



2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 three-pound pork rib racks

2 ounces each parsley, rosemary, and basil

6 ounces saba



1. Mix dry ingredients together, and coat rib racks. Place in a baking pan, cover with foil, and cook in a 250-degree oven for 2 hours. Remove, then grill over low to medium heat for 1 hour. 

2. Roughly chop herbs, mix together, and set aside.

3. Place ribs on a serving platter. Brush with saba, then garnish with chopped herbs.

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