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Chile-Glazed Country Ribs
(Costillas Adobadas)



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Chile-Glazed Country Ribs
(Costillas Adobadas)

Chef Rick Bayless

In Julia's Kitchen
with Master Chefs

by Julia Child, 1995, Alfred A. Knopf


“Chef Rick likes country-style pork ribs for this dish because they have
more meat on them, and one rib makes a generous serving per person.
Besides, they have good texture, are usually reasonably priced, and
look attractive on the platter.
His marinade is a fine one not only for other cuts of pork but for
fish and chicken as well.”

Ingredients for 4 to 6 servings

For the chile marinade:
The roasted vegetables
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
The following chiles, stemmed and seeded, and
deveined if you wish:
3 medium-large (about 1 1/2 ounces) ancho chiles
6 medium-large (about 1 1/2 ounces) guajillo chiles

The liquid
1/2 cup meat or poultry broth, plus
a little more if needed
2 tablespoon cider vinegar

The spices
A pinch of cumin seeds or a generous
pinch of ground cumin
3 cloves or about a pinch of ground cloves
8 black peppercorns or a generous 1/8 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/2-inch cinnamon stick or about
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste

For the pork
6 good-size pork country ribs, about 3 pounds
2 tablespoons honey

For serving
6 large Romaine lettuce leaves
1/4 large white onion, thinly sliced
2 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
Sprigs of cilantro

Special equipment needed: A heavy-bottomed skillet or griddle;
a spice grinder, a mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder; an electric
blender; a wide rubber spatula; a medium-meshed strainer; a
roasting pan (for the ribs)

Making the chile marinade:
Roasting the vegetables.
Set the ungreased skillet or griddle over moderate heat, lay in the unpeeled garlic, and roast it, turning occasionally, until it is blackened in spots and quite soft, 10 to 15 minutes; cool, then slip off the papery skins and set them aside. Open the chiles out flat, and, working with one at a time, lay them in the hot skillet, press flat for a few seconds with a metal spatula until they start to crackle and even send up a faint wisp of smoke, then flip them over and press down on them to toast the other side; they are ready when they begin to change color. Transfer to a bowl, cover with boiling water, weight down with a plate to keep them submerged, and
let soak for 30 minutes. Then drain and put them along with the garlic into
the blender.
Adding the liquid.
Measure 1/2 cup of broth or water into the blender,
and add the vinegar. Blend to a smooth purée, scraping and stirring every
few seconds – add droplets more liquid if there is not enough for the
blender to function.
Preparing the spices.
Pulverize the cumin, cloves, peppercorns, oregano,
and cinnamon in the spice grinder or mortar, then transfer to the blender
with the chile purée. Blend for 30 seconds more, and then, with a rubber spatula, work the purée through the strainer into a bowl. Stir in the sugar
and salt.

Ahead-of-time Note: The chile marinade may be made several weeks
in advance. Refrigerate in a covered jar.

Marinating the ribs. Place the ribs in a large glass bowl. Divide the
marinade in half and smear half of it on the ribs, cover, and refrigerate
for several hours (preferably overnight). Combine the remaining chile
marinade with the honey, cover, and refrigerate.

Ahead-of-time note: The ribs may be marinated up to 2 days in advance.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cooking the ribs:
Transfer the ribs to a baking dish, scraping onto them
any marinade left behind in the pan. Drizzle 1/4 cup water around them,
cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes, or until they are tender when
pierced with a fork. Uncover and baste with the liquid in the pan. Return
them to the oven uncovered for 15 minutes more to develop a nice
crustiness. Pour fat and juices out of the pan or transfer the ribs to a
clean roasting pan.

Ahead-of-time note: The recipe may be prepared a day or so
in advance up to this point.

Set the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Finishing and serving: Brush the ribs heavily with the reserved marinade-honey mixture. Bake until glazed and crusty, about 15 minutes. Lay the lettuce leaves on one half of a serving platter and place the ribs over them. Scatter on the onions and radishes, and garnish with sprigs of cilantro.

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