Esteban Castillo's Michelada Ribs

April 18, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Esteban Castillo
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Serves 5 or 6
Author Notes

Ribs are one of the dishes that my parents ask me to make the most whenever I host family dinners. My parents loved going to BBQ joints for birthdays, and after spending hundreds year after year on dry mac and cheese and ribs with very little to no meat, I decided to make everything myself for half the cost. I like to braise the ribs in a mixture reminiscent of the flavors of a michelada—beer, Clamato, Worcestershire sauce—and braising them makes them really juicy and tender so the cooked meat just falls off the bone. I love deviled eggs, so along with the ribs I like to serve a creamy deviled egg macaroni salad, the cheesiest rajas con mac and cheese (mac and cheese with diced jalapeño and poblano chiles), and sweet and buttery corn bread muffins made with a mixture of cornmeal and masa harina to enhance the flavor of the corn.

Reprinted from Chicano Eats. Copyright © 2020 by Esteban Castillo. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Esteban Castillo. Published by Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.Food52

What You'll Need
  • 4 pounds (1.8 kg) pork baby back ribs (avoid spare ribs)
  • 4 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 12 ounces (355 ml) pilsner beer, such as Modelo Especial or Corona
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Clamato juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) of BBQ Sauce
  1. Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
  2. Break the ribs down into four 1-pound (455 g) racks to ensure they cook evenly. Place a large piece of foil on top of a baking sheet without tucking in the edges. Place one of the slabs of ribs on the foil, sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of the steak seasoning, and use your hands to pat it into the meat. Seal up the ribs in an individual foil packet, leaving one end open to pour in the braising liquid. Repeat this process with the remaining slabs of ribs.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the beer, Clamato juice, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and sugar to make a braising liquid.
  4. Dividing evenly, pour the braising liquid into the open end of each one of the rib packets, then seal them completely. Arrange the ribs on two baking sheets.
  5. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 hours 45 minutes, switching the baking sheets from rack to rack at the 1 1/2-hour mark.
  6. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and turn the broiler to high. Drain the braising liquid, discard the foil, and place the ribs back onto your pan. (If your broiler is small, you’ll have to slice your racks in half and work in batches.) Brush some BBQ sauce onto both sides of the ribs and broil until the sauce caramelizes, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush on more of the BBQ sauce, and broil for another 4 minutes for the sauce to finish caramelizing, then remove and brush on a generous third coat. Repeat with the remaining slabs of ribs.
  7. To serve: Let the ribs cool for a few minutes, then cut into individual-sized portions and serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side. Accompany the ribs with the muffins, macaroni salad, and mac and cheese.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Beth Bardin
    Beth Bardin
  • Esteban Castillo
    Esteban Castillo
  • Jessamin

6 Reviews

Jessamin April 18, 2021
I am a big fan of Chicano Eats and these ribs do not dissapoint! I used V8 because convenient stores sell the small bottles, and I finished them on the grill. The only thing I would change about this recipe is not to use a store-bought bbq sauce. If you have beer and leftover Clamato (or V8) you are on your way to a stove-top bbq sauce so just google a recipe and make your own. This will be my go-to rib recipe until the end of time, many thanks.
Esteban C. April 24, 2021
Thank you Jessamin! Making your own BBQ sauce really is sooo much better! In my book I actually pair the ribs with my Hibiscus bbq sauce, it’s sweet and spicy and soo soo good! I hope you get to try it!!
Sharona July 14, 2020
Can't wait to try these! Clamato, readily available in Canada, is not well known in the USA: a few splashes of clam juice with your V8 or bloody Mary mixer should be a good substitute. Where can I find the corn muffin recipe?
FrugalCat July 13, 2020
oooh, these sound good. I think I could adapt this to a crockpot! If there are guests, make sure you tell them there is Clamato in the sauce- shellfish allergies are no joke and while the allergic are cautious, it is unusual to have a shellfish allergen in BBQ sauce.
Linda D. June 30, 2020
WOW! Esteban, these ribs are fabulous! Better than any ribs I have had out. I used a bottle of beer that we had. I used Very Veggie in place of the Clamato juice. Thanks so much!
Beth B. June 14, 2020
So easy and so delicious. Quote from dinner "these are the best ribs I've ever had". I must say, I agreed. I didn't have Clamato on hand, so I substituted V8. We finished the ribs on the grill instead of the broiler. Served with Samin Nosrat's Persian-is Rice, which BTW if you haven't tried making, I highly recommend.