Mexican Barbecued Ribs

Posted By Kerri

I bought these pork ribs earlier in the week with a vague idea of what I was going to do with them but, having seen the weather report, Stephen suggested keeping them until tonight and barbecuing them. We don’t eat ribs often so I wasn’t really sure what to do with them, a quick flick through Rick Bayless’ “Mexican Kitchen” was all that was required and I found an easy marinade.

Part of the reason I liked this marinade so much was that half was used to marinate the ribs overnight and the other half reserved (with some honey added) for the cooking. A lot of recipes (including the one we used previously) seem to require both a dry rub and a wet marinade and while I’m sure this is worthwhile, the faff value is off-putting if you don’t have plenty of time to spare.

Despite a recent trip to Borough market to stock up on Mexican ingredients, we didn’t actually have any of the chillies required for this recipe (ancho and guajillo). I improvised and used what we did have: habanero and chile de arbol. These worked well and added both heat and depth, I’m not sure how the dish would have turned out had we had the chillies specified but we were both happy with what we had. Ordinary chillies would result in a different taste but still worthwhile if you don’t have access to the dried ones.

I can’t remember what type of ribs we used but there wasn’t a huge amount of meat on them, one of the reasons I can’t really be bothered with them. What meat was there was tasty but if we cook them on the barbecue again then I’ll do my research first and try to find some meatier ribs. The marinade was really good though and versatile too, I can imagine it working with any kind of barbecued meat. It keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks too so worth making a large batch in advance if you’re planning a lot of barbecues this summer.

We also had some corn salsa, using this recipe from a couple of weeks ago. I boiled the corn this time with a fair amount of salt and it really seemed to enhance the sweetness of the kernels. I added chilli this time too which we would normally do, I didn’t last time because there was so much chilli in everything else.

Mexican Rib Marinade
Serves Two (enough for six ribs with a little left over)

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 dried chillies
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of cumin
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup beef stock
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 tablespoon honey

Toast the garlic in a pan until it starts to blacken, remove and set aside to cool. Peel.

Toast the dried chillies for a few seconds each side. Remove from the frying pan and soak in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the water.

Blend all the ingredients together except from the honey.

Taking half of the marinade, coat the ribs and chill in the fridge overnight. Add the honey to the other half of the marinade and store in the fridge.

As I mentioned above, we don’t really cook ribs often and since all the recipes I found stated they should be cooked in the oven first, that’s what we did. In hindsight, I don’t think this was necessary and in future, I would put the whole lot on the barbecue and brush on the honey-marinade. As it was, we cooked our ribs first, for 20 minutes, at 180 degrees and then finished them on the barbecue for 15 minutes.

May 21st, 2010

2 Comments to 'Mexican Barbecued Ribs'

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  1. I definitely think you could have bypassed the oven and cooked the whole thing on the grill. Just cook the ribs in indirect heat for the first 20 minutes before finishing over direct heat the last 15.

    The ancho and guajillo would have given a sweet smokiness to the marinade that works really well with pork. Your substitute peppers sound tasty as well.
    .-= Nate @ House of Annie´s last blog ..Fried Squid Fail =-.

  2. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Nate. I’ll try that next time. And make another trip to the market to stock up on the chillies!

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