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On special nights my mom would cook up her recipe for "costillas de puerco," pork country-style ribs and you can bet that no one would miss dinner on that night. In her recipe, it was strictly chile ancho to make her sauce with a few spices. For this recipe, I decided to add a little sweetness to the sauce by adding some of the ingredients I use to make my barbeque sauce. Molasses and apple cider vinegar are always great when combined with a little bit of heat from the chile peppers. I really paid attention to the cooking time and in three hours, these were the most tender and moist ribs right out of the oven.
Yields up to 8 servings
3 pounds (bone-in) pork, country-style ribs
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
1½ teaspoons Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon jalapeño powder
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for browning
For Chile Sauce
8 to 10 dried chile New Mexico or guajillos
6 chiles de árbol or chiles japonés
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ cup molasses
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of water
For Mango Salsa
2 mangoes, diced
1 to 2 chipotles in adobo, minced
1 serrano, seeded and minced
2 shallots or 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine all of the dried spices and season both sides of pork. Drizzle the vinegar and 3 tablespoons of olive oil onto pork. Cover and marinate overnight, or at least for 12 hours.
2. Remove ribs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before, so they come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a nonstick skillet, preheat 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 5 minutes. Sear the ribs on all sides until nicely browned, adding a little more oil if needed.
3. Transfer seared ribs to a glass baking dish. De-glaze the pan with ½ cup of water, stir well until all the bits are loosened from bottom of pan. Remove from heat and set aside. Cover the ribs tightly with foil paper and bake for 2 hours. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients for salsa. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Cover and keep chilled until ready to serve.
4. While ribs are in the oven, prepare the chile sauce. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried peppers. Tear the larger peppers into smaller pieces and transfer to a glass bowl. Cover with water and cook in the microwave for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time. Remove from microwave, cover and let cool ans steep for 20 minutes.
5. Drain all of the liquid from the peppers and transfer to blender. Add all remaining ingredients for the chile sauce, blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt. If it's too thick, just add a little more water. Add the sauce to reserved pan with de-glazed liquid. Cook at a low simmer until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. After ribs have cooked for 2 hours, remove from oven. Add half of the chile sauce to cover the ribs. Continue baking, uncovered and baste with drippings from pan about every 20 minutes for another hour.
6. Remove ribs from oven. You can shred the meat, removing any bones or you can serve as is. Transfer ribs to serving dish and top with remaining sauce. Serve with rice, beans, salsa, and warm tortillas. Yields up to 8 servings. For these tacos, I like to double up on the corn tortillas because it's a hearty taco!
Other recipes by Sonia:
Mini Gorditas Stuffed with Chorizo and Cheese
Tilapia In a Green Chile Sauce With Coconut Lime Rice
Chile Relleno with Serrano Shrimp
Tequila Lime Shrimp
Steak Ranchero and Potato Tacos
Annatto-Citrus Marinated Chicken
Kickin' Sloppy Joe & Cheddar Pie
Chile Garlic Shrimp Kabobs
Chicken Enchilada Soup with Chayotes
Chocoflan / Pastel Imposible
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