Chef's Recipes

Chipotle-glazed pork ribs (costillas de cerdo al chipotle)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for chipotle-glazed pork ribs (costillas de cerdo al chipotle) by Melbourne Mexican restaurant Mamasita.

  • Serves 6
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 25 mins cooking plus cooling
Chipotle-glazed pork ribs (costillas de cerdo al chipotle)
Chipotle-glazed pork ribs (costillas de cerdo al chipotle)

"The pork ribs at Melbourne's Mamasita are the best I've eaten outside Mexico. Would you ask the team to share the recipe?"
David Chan, via email

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  • 3 litres chicken stock
  • 1 garlic head
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 kg pork loin back ribs
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 20 pickling onions
  • 60 ml Pedro Ximénez
Chipotle glaze
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400 gm peeled Roma tomatoes
  • 300 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 200 gm tinned chipotle chillies in adobo sauce (see note)
  • 75 gm dark brown sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) coriander


  • 1
    For chipotle glaze, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and stir occasionally until slightly caramelised (7-10 minutes). Add garlic and a pinch of salt and sauté until tender (5-6 minutes). Add remaining ingredients (except coriander), reduce heat to low and stir occasionally until sauce thickens (50 minutes-1 hour). Remove from heat, stir through coriander, cool completely, then process in a food processor until smooth and set aside.
  • 2
    Combine stock, garlic, cinnamon, star anise and cumin seeds in a large saucepan and bring to the simmer over low heat, add ribs and simmer until meat is very tender (1½-2 hours). Remove ribs from stock, cool completely, then cut into pieces and set aside.
  • 3
    Combine masa flour and cumin in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over low heat, add pickling onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender (20-25 minutes). Deglaze pan with Pedro Ximénez, shaking to combine, season to taste and set aside.
  • 5
    Preheat oil to 180C in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer. Dust ribs in flour mixture, shake off excess, and deep-fry in batches until golden (2-3 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit).
  • 6
    Heat glaze in a saucepan over low heat, add ribs, toss to combine. Serve hot, scattered with coriander, with pickling onions to the side.


Note Masa flour and chipotle chillies in adobo sauce are available from select delicatessens, Mexican specialty stores and Monterey Mexican Foods. This recipe is from the December 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.