Ancho Chile Braised Pork Ribs

I stumbled upon Joshua Weissman’s blog, Slim Palate, a little less than a year ago.  I was new to paleo and on a mission to find new recipes.  Josh had everything I needed.  Brilliant pictures, a way with words, and best of all fantastic recipes.  His new book The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook is an exact replica of his blog.  It’s well organized, full of breathtaking food photographs, and loaded with useful recipes.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to win a copy of Joshua Weissman’s stunningly beautiful cookbook. Whether you’re looking for simple every day and weekend recipes and meals that look and taste great or you want the perfect recipes for an elegant dining experience. Whether you’re a novice whole foods, real foods, paleo, primal, or traditional foods cook or a newbie, this book will give you ideas and recipes!


The weather here in Germany has been fantastic the past few weeks, I would say mostly low to mid 70’s. Breezy, cloudy and perfect for spicy food! I decided to try a recipe from Joshua’s blog, Ancho Chile Braised Country Pork Ribs! His recipe stated it wasn’t terribly spicy (and we all know Alex love hot foods!) so I have altered the recipe a bit to make it hotter and rather than cooking in a dutch oven-I used a crock pot. Check out his recipe here for the original.

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You don’t see country-style ribs often on restaurant menus. Well, at least I don’t. I’m not sure why, since they are a lot meatier than your traditional beef or pork ribs. Country-style ribs are cut from the sirloin or rib end of the pork loin. Since they’re perfect for those of us who want to use a knife and fork.


Dried chile’s are actually very common at grocery stores today (I mean, if I can find them in a German grocery store I know you can!) and are not expensive at all! Plus, they pretty much last forever since they are dried. Just look in your local grocery store in the Mexican section of the international aisle.

I have always found them a bit intimidating, I do love authentic Mexican food–but I have little to no experience with preparing the real thing. So that is why I chose this recipe, to get out of my comfort zone…and surprisingly they are very simple to work with!

After toasting the chile peppers in a pan, let them soak in water to soften them up a bit...

After toasting the chile peppers in a pan, let them soak in water to soften them up a bit…

I have to admit I cheated on the spice list. I used the Southwest blend by McCormick--it added just the right amount of heat to have a kick but not burn your mouth off!

I have to admit I cheated on the spice list. I used the Southwest blend by McCormick–it added just the right amount of heat to have a kick but not burn your mouth off!

My pureed chile's, tomatoes and spices....

My pureed chile’s, tomatoes and spices….

After blitzing all my sauce ingredients in a blender, I opened the top and the smell was intoxicating! Smoky, sweet and incredible fragrant! At this point I already knew the sauce was going  to be delicious!

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Now for the ribs! After making these, I really do prefer them to traditional bone-in ribs. I found them for about $2 a pound, which is a steal for having a husband who eats his weight in protein every day! They were juicy and shredded easily with just a fork…and when you make them in the crock pot they are another set-it-and-forget-it meal that I love.

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Make sure you get a great sear on your ribs. This is achieved by having a hot pan with a moderate amount of oil ready before you add the meat. I usually set my burner to slightly under the high setting (you don’t want to burn it)  and wait till my oil barely starts to smoke.

Ever heard anyone say “The reason you sear meat is to lock in the juices.”? They are idiots.

The reason you sear meat is to develop flavor. That golden brown color comes from caramelization which turns into a greater depth of flavor. This is why grilled or pan fried meats taste better than boiled ones. Next time you sear something just watch the meat…juices will still run out even if it’s seared. Any professional chef worth his/her weight  knows this. So next time someone says some garbage about ‘locking in juices’, please correct them. It’s cool, I’ve got your back.

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I topped my ribs with a little cilantro (the stuff I have growing on my patio is flowering so I used the buds for presentation) and served then with some baked zucchini fries.

Ancho Chile Braised Country Style Pork Ribs

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 2½ pounds country style pork ribs
  • 3½ tablespoons ghee or other high heat cooking fat
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 dried guajillo chile
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 red bell pepper (roasted)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons Southwestern Spice Blend
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of chopped cilantro as garnish
  1. Carefully snip the ends of the chilies off with kitchen shears over a trash can and shake out and many of the seeds as you can. The more seeds the spicier it will be.
  2. In a medium sized dry pan, toast the chiles over medium heat. Sautee to prevent burning for about 2 minutes or until the chiles have slightly softened and become fragrant. Place the chiles in a heat proof bowl and heat the water until boiling. Pour the water over the chiles, cover the bowl with foil, and allow to sit and soak for 25 minutes.
  3. Once the chiles have soaked pour the soaking liquid along with the soaked chiles into a blender. Add roasted red pepper, onion, garlic, canned tomato, spice mix and apple cider vinegar. Turn the blender on and puree starting at low and then gradually rising to a higher speed until completely smooth.
  4. Add half the chile mixture to crock pot and turn on low.
  5. Rinse and pat dry the ribs. Heat 2½ tablespoons of the oil (I used rendered bacon fat) in a large skillet oven over medium high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and brown them in batches to avoid over crowding the pan; 2-3 minutes each side. As you finish browning each piece place them on a large dish tented with foil.
  6. Nestle the ribs in the chile liquid and pour the remaining liquid on top of the ribs. Add bay leaf.
  7. Let cook on low for 5-6 hours. They will be done with they easily fall apart.
  8. Garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy!

8 responses to “Ancho Chile Braised Pork Ribs

  1. It’s baking hot here in NYC, but I am enjoying it. The ribs would go wonderfully with this kind of weather and needles to say the upcoming 4th of July. Cannot wait give them a try…

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