Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Dinner: Chipotle Pineapple Ribs

When the weather starts to cool down, my barbeque cravings inevitably follow. I attribute this to the hot Arizona summers I grew up with, and that knowing that come October, I just may be able to withstand the heat around the grill for longer than 30 seconds. For the past couple of days we’ve had temperatures with highs in the mid-60’s to lower 70’s and I’ve been itching to grill up some ribs.

Usually, when I make ribs, I prepare them 2 different ways. Half of the ribs get a traditional barbeque glaze (with my fave, Sweet Baby Ray’s), and the other half get smothered in a homemade salsa made of blended tomatillos, tomato, jalapenos, onions and garlic, which better suits my husband’s taste. This time around, we are going for something we both like which has become a family favorite over the years. Here we are, compromising again… although this time, it doesn’t feel like compromise at all.

About 5 years ago I decided to make Christmas dinner for my husband for the very first time. I knew from the get-go that the traditional ham glaze wasn’t going to work for him, so I went on the hunt for different recipes. I came across this baked ham recipe and it changed my world. Yes, food changes me. After some experimentation, I found that the glaze outlined above is much more involved than necessary and in my opinion, the chipotle/pineapple combination is bold enough on it’s own that there really isn’t a need to add any extra salt or spices. I have tweaked (and seriously simplified) the recipe over the years and make large amounts of the sauce during the holiday season because we love to have it with (leftover) ham and eggs after our Christmas and Easter dinners.

Super Simple Chipotle Pineapple Ribs

1 rack of pork spare ribs, cut St. Louis style (link for instructions below)
20 oz. can of pineapple in 100% pineapple juice
7 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
½ cup loosely packed brown sugar
Garlic salt & pepper to taste

After trimming them St. Louis style, cut the rack of ribs in half, sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper and put in your crock pot on low for about 8 hours. Carefully remove the ribs (they should be falling off the bone at this point) and transfer to a baking sheet. Throw pineapple, chipotle peppers and brown sugar in the blender and puree. The sauce is done! Top ribs with sauce and throw them (errr… carefully place) on the grill (or broil in the oven) until the sauce has caramelized and the ribs have developed a slight char. Carefully remove these from the grill (or baking sheet) and put them directly your plate. I don’t recommend bothering with a serving platter at this point, because they really do fall off the bone and with all that movement, you could quickly ruin your presentation.

There are a couple of things I would like to mention. I use pork spare ribs because they are so much cheaper than other cuts, and ever since I learned how to cut spareribs St. Louis style, I never went back to those pricey, baby back ribs. After trimming them St. Louis style, I still cook the scraps in the crock with the rest, but then set them aside to be shredded for pork tacos later on in the week.

Also, I think it is very important to point out that this recipe renders much more sauce than you will need to slather over your ribs. I probably only use 1 cup of sauce for the rack of ribs, but you should get about 4 cups of sauce from the above recipe. However, if you do it this way, there isn’t really any measuring involved (which the exception of the sugar) and you will have plenty left over to enjoy with your eggs in the morning. This sauce can be kept in the fridge for about 5-7 days and also freezes very well. I freeze the leftovers in half cup portions and use it for everything from topping our eggs at breakfast to a unique salsa for pork or chicken tacos.

The results of my invento:

I chose to serve these ribs with baked potatoes, roasted corn with grilled poblano chili strips and a salad. Of course I had to throw some tortillas on the comal for the Mr. as well. That’s a given.


This sauce made such an amazing addition to the rack of ribs; I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner! I wouldn’t change a thing. FYI, the chipotle pepper packs some serious heat, so if you are sensitive to spice, you might want to scale back to only use 1 pepper and about a teaspoon of the adobo sauce. You could also remove the seeds to make it a bit milder and/or add an extra ½ cup of brown sugar to balance out the effect of the chiles.

I enjoyed my dinner with one or 3 of these:

And, in celebration of Halloween, we’ll be following up la cena with this:

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious and looks great! Hope you guys had a Happy Halloween!