Got some friends or whanau coming over this summer? Why not make pork ribs?

Think about that tender meat falling off the bone, crunchy bits from the grill or barbie, tangy and sticky with sauce? There’s not much to do to make this tasty meal – in fact you could cook the ribs before-hand (cool and keep covered in the fridge for a max. of two days) and just reheat them thoroughly on the day under the grill or on the bbq.

This is a recipe for Mexican ribs – that’s a sauce heavily flavoured with chipotle (think cumin, smoky tomato and chilli). If you prefer your ribs sweeter, try the sauce recipe I posted to go with beef brisket.

I also include a quick recipe for roasted corn, because it goes so well with the ribs. When I photographed it, I also made a little red onion and avo salsa (just chop them together and add a squeeze of lime juice) and put some more sauce in a bowl on the side (for those who love their ribs smothered!)


Serves 4


Pork ribs (allow 250g raw weight per person)
1 tbsp ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, brown sugar
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
½ tsp salt
Boiling water

For the BBQ sauce

Olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp each of tomato ketchup, tomato paste, chipotle sauce, water, brown sugar and white vinegar


Red onion
Corn-on-the-cob (one cob per person)


  1. Rub the ribs with the cumin, coriander, paprika, sugar, mixed herbs and salt and leave for an hour or so covered in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Transfer the ribs to a roasting dish and pour boiling water around them until they are mostly covered. I used 4 cups of water for mine. Cover the dish firmly with foil and cook them at 160°C for 2 hours or more. Two hours will probably be enough… take one out and try it – you want the meat to be falling off the bone.
  3. Whilst they are cooking, make the sauce. If you have a stick blender you can blend the sauce at the end so just roughly chop the onion, but if you don’t, very finely chop the onion. Cook off the onion with the garlic, minced, in a little olive oil then cook on a gentle heat for 10 mins or so with the other ingredients. If you need to, blend it once cooled a little and find a pastry brush or spoon to put it on the ribs later.
  4. When cooked, the ribs will look pale but be very tender. Drain off the cooking liquid (and keep it for a stew or to make gravy on another day). Let the meat cool down, then cut into individual ribs, paint on the sauce and pop under the grill or on the barbie until they are dark, sticky and slightly charred around the edges.
  5. Serve with roasted corn. Peel the cobs and break up into chunks. (Some corn I can just snap and other bits I have to saw into rounds). Paint on a thin layer of melted butter. Stick them in a roasting dish and put them in the oven once the ribs come out, turning up the temperature to 200°C. Turn occasionally and baste occasionally with a little more butter until the corn is cooked and slightly browned on the edges. It can be served hot or warm with the ribs and the red onion/avo salsa.
  6. Enjoy! Have a great summer full of good food and good times…

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag #coastalflavour – I love to see what you’ve been making and any feedback is really welcome.

Here’s a link my local butchers (Matt and Chelsie at The Chopping Block) Facebook page.