The perfect balance on Rick Bayless' plate is these hot and tangy ribs, a green salad and a spoonful of Mexican beans. Bayless loves meaty country ribs—which are not really ribs, but chops from the loin; you can use spareribs or baby back ribs if you prefer.
Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips
6 dried guajillo or Anaheim chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 cups Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa
3 pounds pork country ribs
2 tablespoons honey
Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving
sliced radishes and fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
How to Make It
Heat a dry griddle or heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add 2 of the chiles, opening them flat on the hot surface. Toast, pressing down, until they start to crackle. Turn and toast the other side, then transfer to a blender. Toast the remaining chiles and add them to the blender along with the Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides. Pass the puree through a medium strainer into a bowl.
In a large bowl, smear the ribs with half of the chile mixture, then cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. In another bowl, mix the remaining chile mixture with the honey; cover and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Spread the ribs and marinade in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle 1/4 cup of water around them, cover with foil and roast for 1 1/2 hours. uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer, or until tender. Discard the pan juices.
Raise the oven temperature to 350°. Brush the ribs generously with the chile-honey sauce. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the ribs are glazed and a little crusty.
Line a serving platter with the romaine and pile the ribs on top. Garnish with the radishes and cilantro and dig in; pass around any remaining chile-honey sauce.
The chile mixture can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Go for an Australian red with lots of up-front flavor. Consider the Geoff Merrill Owen's Estate Shiraz.
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