Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Roja
One of the favorite chiles in central Mexico is the mild guajillo. They are used to perfection in this recipe for Aguascalientes style slow-simmered pork ribs in salsa roja.
Think of the sauce as a tangy chile based BBQ sauce. It tastes really familiar and a bit unique at the same time. Preparation is simple enough for a weeknight dinner.
How to Make Mexican Pork Ribs
In Spanish, the dish is called “costillas de cerdo en salsa roja” or “costillas de puerco en salsa roja.”
Gather Your Ingredients
You will need 2.5 lbs. pork ribs, 6 guajillo chiles, 3 tomatoes, ½ head of garlic, ¼ cup vinegar, ¼ sugar and 2 to 3 tsps. salt.
Making the Sauce
Remove the seeds and veins from the chiles.
Add the chiles, tomatoes, salt, vinegar, and 1 cup of water to your blender. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
Strain the salsa to remove the pulp.
Your salsa is now ready to cook the ribs.
Cooking the Ribs
Place your ribs in a large pot with just enough water to almost cover.
Add the garlic and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until all the water evaporates about 20 to 30 minutes.
After all the water has evaporated, remove the garlic. The ribs will continue cooking in the fat that was released while boiling.
Cook until nicely browned, stirring every couple of minutes.
Pour the salsa over the ribs. add the sugar. Stir to cover the ribs.
Before cooking the salsa is a bright red. After cooking it turns a deep rich red.
Cook until the salsa has reduced by half stirring every 5 minutes. It’s starting to look really good!
Provecho! Enjoy your plate of Mexican ribs!
Pork Ribs in Salsa Roja Recipe
- 2.5 lbs. pork ribs
- 6 guajillo chiles
- 3 tomatoes
- ½ head of garlic
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ¼ sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 to 3 tsps. salt
Preparing the Guajillo Salsa
- Remove the seeds and veins from the chiles.
- Add the chiles, tomatoes, salt, vinegar, and 1 cup of water to your blender. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Strain the salsa to remove the pulp.
- Set aside until pork is browned.
Cooking the Ribs
- Place your ribs in a large pot with just enough water to almost cover.
- Add the ½ head of garlic and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until all the water evaporates, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- After all the water has evaporated, remove the garlic. The ribs will continue cooking in the fat that was released while boiling.
- Cook until nicely browned.
- Pour the salsa over the ribs. Add the sugar. Stir to cover the ribs in salsa.
- Cook until the salsa has reduced by half (about 20 minutes) stirring every 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Wonderful!! Delicious and easy!!
Rick Heilman says
Really good, authinic Mexican taste. Rich and very filling. Easy to make but takes far longer to reduce water and sauce than recipe indicates. First time using this chili and would prefer a spicier one. The gualilla peppers are a little fruity and almost no heat.
MIschelle Santiago says
My husband is from Mexico and LOVED this recipe. I used pork riblets, 6 guajillos , and will only use 2 tsp salt next time.
I make something similar to this. I usually put the ribs on the grill to get some browning and then I cut them into individual ribs(or I have the butcher cut them across the bone to make 1-2″ pieces of ribs held together by the meat kind of like rib tips but without all the funky little pieces). I don’t boil them but the rest is more or less the same. I just cook it 2-4 hours until tender. I don’t like the texture of boiled ribs and it seems like a good chance to get the flavor into the ribs more.
I’ve used canned enchilada sauce I got on sale and smoked paprika before when making a lot(40lb+) and it comes out really good too.
¼ cup or ¼ tsp of sugar?
Really liked it. Want to make it again, but can’t decide what to serve with it. Ideas?
Crystal Mosier says
Mashed potatoes and use the sauce as gravy!! Or potato salad is what we do 😊
how much sugar? it just says 1/4. 1/4 what? cup?