Pork Ribs in Chipotle Adobo (Costillas de Puerco al Chipotle)

February 22, 2019

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Walk the open air markets in Mexico and you're likely to see cuts of meat slathered in chipotle peppers—not only does it act as a natural preservative, but also a flavorful, smoky marinade. This recipe incorporates three chiles, all very distinct in flavor to give it a little complexity. For a less intensely spicy take, you can opt for just the jarred peppers. You can also sub in a wide variety of meats, like beef, pork butt, and lamb. Needless to say, the best way to serve this dish is with homemade tortillas, avocado slices, and ice-cold cervezas. Trevor Baca Adams

Serves: 5
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 3 hrs


  • 3 Xilli Chipotles Adobados
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 Guajillo chiles, seeds and stem removed
  • 3 Cascabel chiles, seeds and stem removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds Pork Short Ribs, cut into pieces that fit the width of your Dutch oven
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Remove the stem from the Xilli Chipotles Adobados and place them in a blender with the next six ingredients.
  3. Over a clay comal or cast iron skillet, toast the dried guajillo and cascabel chiles until fragrant (roughly 1 minute, depending on the dryness of the chiles). Take care not to burn them, or the sauce will be bitter. Once toasted, soak the chiles in water for 15 minutes.
  4. Roast the garlic, skin on, until dark spots appear. Peel the cloves and add to the blender.
  5. Blend everything together until smooth, adding water if necessary.
  6. In a large Dutch oven, sear the ribs until browned over med-high heat.
  7. Strain the blended sauce through a mesh sieve (optional) and over the ribs being sure to scrape the bottom of the dutch oven with a spatula. Pour water into the dutch oven until the meat is submerged.
  8. Cook with lid on, for 2 to 4 hours, depending on how tender you want the meat.
  9. Once done, remove ribs and slice. Serve with fresh tortillas and plenty of sauce over the top.

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Reviews (2) Questions (1)

2 Reviews

Jenny March 4, 2019
I had a question about the sauce. The recipe says to strain it over the ribs, but at the end it says to serve with plenty of sauce on top. Is there any sauce reserved, or does it mean the sauce left in the Dutch oven after cooking? Thanks!
Author Comment
Trevor B. March 4, 2019
Hi Jenny! This note refers to the sauce left in the Dutch oven. Guajillo chiles tend to have tougher skins, and most cooks strain out the larger pieces. I recommend doing an initial straining to make a smoother sauce, but this step is optional. Let me know if you have any other questions - Happy cooking!