Pibil-Style Pork Ribs

These country-style ribs are based on a traditional pork stew from the Yucatan Peninsula called Puerco Pibil. Slow cooking the ribs in banana leaves keeps them especially moist and gives them a subtle flavor. Look for banana leaves in the supermarket freezer section or at a Mexican market.

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  • Makes: 10 servings
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Slow Cook: 8 hrs to 9 hrs (low) or 4 to 4-1/2 hours (high)
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Pibil-Style Pork Ribs
tablespoons achiote seeds
teaspoons cumin seeds
teaspoon whole black peppercorns
teaspoon coriander seeds
teaspoon brown mustard seeds
teaspoon dried oregano
whole allspice
whole cloves
bay leaf, crumbled
cup white vinegar
fresh jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded (if desired), and coarsely chopped*
tablespoons tequila
cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
tablespoon sea salt
pounds boneless pork country-style ribs
large onions, cut into wedges
Banana leaves (optional)
Hot cooked long grain rice
Lime wedges
  1. In a spice grinder combine achiote seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, oregano, allspice, cloves, and bay leaf. Cover and process until finely ground; set aside.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove one strip (each from) one of the limes and one of the oranges, avoiding the bitter white pith underneath. Coarsely chop the peel (you should have about 1-1/2 tablespoons); place in a blender. Squeeze the juice from limes and oranges. (You should have 6 tablespoons lime juice and 2/3 cup orange juice.) Place juices in a blender; add vinegar, jalapeno peppers, tequila, garlic, and salt. Cover and blend until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl combine ribs and onion wedges. Add the jalapeno mixture and the spice mixture. Toss to coat.
  4. If desired, line a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with one or two layers of banana leaves, allowing some leaves to hang over the edge of the cooker. Place the rib mixture inside the banana leaves. Fold the edges of the banana leaves over the pork.
  5. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours.
  6. Transfer the ribs to a platter. If desired, use some of the banana leaves to line a serving platter; transfer ribs to lined platter. Discard the remaining banana leaves. Drizzle the ribs with some of the cooking juices. Serve with hot cooked rice, lime wedges, and cilantro.
From the Test Kitchen

Because hot chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands well with soap and warm water.

Nutrition Facts (Pibil-Style Pork Ribs)
    Per serving:
  • 428 kcal cal.,
  • 17 g fat
  • (6 g sat. fat,
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 8 g monounsatured fat),
  • 108 mg chol.,
  • 579 mg sodium,
  • 32 g carb.,
  • 2 g fiber,
  • 4 g sugar,
  • 32 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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