Spicy Ribs (Tskhare Neknebi)

spicy ribs tskhare
Spicy Ribs (Tskhare Neknebi)Carla Capalbo

Diaroni, a restaurant in western Georgia, is famous for its delicate veal ribs. Since this cut can be hard to find outside of the country, cookbook author Carla Capalbo recommends substituting baby back pork ribs. For added flavor, marinate the meat several hours before cooking.

Ajika is a spicy chile paste that is very popular in western Georgia; make your own, or buy dried red ajika at well-stocked Eastern European markets.

This recipe is adapted from Tasting Georgia: A Food and Wine Journey in the Caucasus by Carla Capalbo.

Spicy Ribs (Tskhare Neknebi)
These savory Georgian ribs owe their flavor to a long soak in a garlicky, mayo-based marinade.
Yield: serves 4-6
Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 13 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. dry ajika or 2 Tbsp. wet ajika, store-bought or homemade (see following recipe)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced medium-hot fresh chile, such as Fresno, to taste
  • 2 lb. small veal ribs or baby back pork ribs, cut into 2-rib pieces
  • Thinly sliced red or white onion, to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, oil, ajika, garlic, and chile. Add the ribs and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  2. An hour before cooking, remove the ribs from the refrigerator, set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 325°F. Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet and roast, flipping once halfway through, until the meat is nicely browned and tender, 60–70 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the onion, and serve immediately.