Chipotle Grilled Ribs with Citrus Pepper Salsa

  • rib tail-end smothered in Citrus Pepper Salsa
  • one rib is topped with tomatillo salsa too

Recipe for grilling pork ribs, Mexican style.

Folks, this recipe will knock your socks off. Well, around these parts, and this time of year y’all know we’re barefooted anyway so I guess you can say, “it already did.”

Now, by no means is this to endorse any product. It is what it is. But have any of you tried the pepper sauce from Tabasco made with vine-ripened, red jalapeño peppers smoked over a smoldering fire? It’s a rich, thick-bodied sauce ideally balanced in heat and flavor. Prized in ancient Mexican civilizations, even before the time of the Aztecs, the chipotle pepper is known for its dark, smoky flavor. It’s a natural for barbeque foods and sauces. Get a coupon here.

I know you will like the way it helps bring out the smoky flavors of grilled ribs. Here’s the recipe from my house this past weekend. Enjoy!

Chipotle Grilled Ribs with Citrus Pepper Salsa
serves 4 hungry folks

For Two -3 1/2 to 4 pounds pork ribs (I used St. Louis cut)

for the Rub:
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground ancho chiles – or chile powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion

for the Mop:
4 garlic cloves, chopped garlic
1 large green mild chile, stemmed and seeded
2 tomatillos, washed and quartered
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup, freshly squeezed lime juice
Juice of 2 large oranges
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup nectarine juice
1/2 cup native honey

for the Citrus Pepper Salsa:
2 tomatillos, washed and quartered
1 large green hot chile, stemmed and seeded
4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 ground oregano
3 cloves garlic, minces
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 large lime
Juice of 1/2 orange

Prepare the rub by mixing all together in a small bowl.

Sprinkle and rub generously on both sides of each prepped rib. Allow to set for 4 to 6 hours covered in the refrigerator. Remove 1 hour prior to grilling.

Add the chopped vegetables to a medium saucepan.

Add remaining ingredients for the mop to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Using the container of your blender, add the mixture and pulse until mostly liquefied. Set aside until ready to grill.

Prepare the Salsa in the same manner. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes until vegetables soften. Blend until creamy as desired. I used a hand-held blender and kept some of the veggies in larger bits. Set aside.

Prepare the grill by creating the center or one side with low heat and the outer or opposite side with medium heat. Place the room temperature ribs, bone side down, on the cooler part of the grill. Close the grill lid and cook for about 10 minutes. Rotate ribs and flip placing meaty side down. Cover with lid and cook another 10 minutes. At this time, turn off heat under ribs (or move coals to the outer sides) and begin applying the mop. Always keep lid closed as much as possible. Ideal cooking temperature is around 375 degrees F. Add more briskets if using charcoal.

About every 30 minutes, rotate and flip the rips and apply another generous coating of the mop. Cook the ribs about 2 hours using this method.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

By now, the ribs will be nice and coated with the chipotle pepper mop.

Remove to a non-reactive pan. Add about 1/2 cup or more of water to the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes uncovered or until the water is mostly evaporated. Remove from oven and cover pan with foil. Allow to set for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving with the Citrus Pepper Salsa.

Top with tomatillo salsa or fresh limes and more of the Tabasco Chipotle pepper sauce if desired.

4 thoughts on “Chipotle Grilled Ribs with Citrus Pepper Salsa

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