Grilled Ribs in a Mexican-Style Chile Marinade Recipe

If your usual favorite recipes for the grill that you were so excited to revisit a few months ago have become a bit tired, try spicing things up with these ribs by Bruce Aidells, author of the Complete Meat Cookbook, which are jazzed up with South-of-the-Border seasonings and accompanied by a citrus-tinged dipping sauce.

Pork ribs work well in this very spicy recipe (which appeared in Real Food), but you could also use boneless pork loin chops, suggests Aidells. (Use beef flank steak if you have time to marinate the meat overnight.) To turn your Mexican barbecue into a feast, think about adding chips and salsas, store-bought tamales or taquitos, fruit salads made with cucumber and flavored with a bit of lime and salt, and, of course, Margaritas and beer with lime!

Grilled Ribs in a Mexican-Style Chile Marinade Recipe

Serves 4-6

3 slabs of back ribs (about 5 pounds)

Mexican-Style Chile Marinade
2 tsp. grated lime zest
¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ c. freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ c. soy sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander seed
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Dipping Sauce
½ c. reserved marinade
1 c. orange juice

To marinate ribs, put meat in a large zipper-lock bag. Combine all the marinade ingredients; remove ½ cup and reserve. Pour the rest over pork and seal bag. Marinate at room temperature for 2 hours or up to 30 hours in the refrigerator, turning the bag periodically to redistribute the marinade.

To grill-roast (a.k.a. indirect grilling) the ribs, light all the burners and preheat for 15 minutes (or set up a charcoal grill with coals banked on either side.) Shut off the middle section so there is no flame, leaving the heat on both sides. (If your grill only has two sections, then shut one off.) Remove ribs from marinade and shake off any excess. Place the ribs where there is no fire beneath them. Close the lid and adjust the heat to maintain a consistent temperature of 300°F to 350°F. Grill-roast for 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat begins to pull away from the bone. If meat hasn’t charred to your liking place over fire for a few moments to crisp. Remove from the grill, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

While ribs are cooking, make the dipping sauce by bringing the reserved marinade and orange juice to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Transfer the meat to a warm platter, cut into individual ribs, and serve with the sauce for dipping in individual bowls.

Nutrition info (per serving): CALORIES 808 (554 from fat); FAT 62g (sat. 11g); CHOL 220mg; SODIUM 1001mg; CARB 7g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 54g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.