Tangy Chilean Spare Ribs

There were some nice looking spare ribs in the market recently and I remembered this recipe my Chilean friend said was a classic. You need time for marinating and cooking but it’s easy prep and not much cleanup. Serves 4:

Tangy Chilean Spare Ribs

  • 3/4 cup good-quality red or white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons hot sauce—preferably Chilean, or sriracha
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3- to 4-pounds pork rib racks, either baby back ribs or spare ribs

In a medium bowl, stir together vinegar, hot sauce, garlic, oregano, salt, paprika, cumin, and pepper.

Place the ribs in a large Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade in the bag, then seal while pressing out as much air as possible; turn bag to ensure ribs are evenly coated in marinade. Refrigerate at least 3 and up to 6 hours.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 325℉ (160℃). Transfer ribs and marinade to a large baking dish and add 1 cup water. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove dish from oven and increase oven temperature to 375℉ F (190℃). Remove foil (be careful of the steam) and baste the ribs all over with the cooking liquid. Return ribs to oven and cook, uncovered, basting once halfway through, until a paring knife inserts easily into the meat with slight resistance–the ribs are tender but not falling off the bone, the cooking liquid is reduced, and the ribs are lightly browned, 30 to 45 minutes. Slice racks into 2- or 3-rib sections, serve and enjoy!

My verdict:

Even with a reduced marinating time, these were great! Simple to do and really tasty with a side of mashed potatoes. The hot sauce (I used a smoke flavor sriracha) gave it some heat but wasn’t overwhelming, even with 6 tablespoons. It would be great to see what the Chilean hot sauce tasted like, but in mild-mannered France, probably not easy to find.

These will definitely go on rotation.


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