Pork ribs are one of my favorite meat dishes but my enthusiasm for them has always been curbed by the disappointing taste of the various store-bought BBQ sauces that are usually served along with them. So I finally decided to come up with a sauce for ribs myself and I have to say I love it! This chili adobo sauce is nicely spicy (if you want it a little more mellow, just add less of the ground chipotle pepper), a little sweet, a little sour and a little fruity. It complements the melt-in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bone ribs perfectly and is very easy to make. Enjoy!
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- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds, ground
- 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika*
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 rack pork ribs
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1½ tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, mined or pressed
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground red chipotle pepper**
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Mix ground mustard seeds, paprika, garlic, salt and sugar together in a bowl, then rub on the ribs.
- Lay ribs on a baking sheet lined with two layers of aluminum foil.
- Lay two layers of aluminum foil on top and seal the edges tightly.
- Bake in the oven for 3½ hours.
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the onion and saute until translucent.
- Add the garlic and saute for a minute.
- Add chili and chipotle powder and cook for one minute.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, sugar, cider vinegar and soy sauce.
- Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve with the ribs.
Food Photography and Styling: I wanted to be sure to show the sauce prominently in this photo because it’s an important (if not actually the most important) part of this recipe. To do that I chose to shoot from an overhead perspective and that made the ribs a bit challenging. Showing just a chunk of four or five ribs in one piece looked too uniform and boring, so I cut individual ribs from the rack and showed some of them from the top, some from the bottom and some from the side to create a little variety. To tell the viewer that this recipe is spicy I placed dried peppers in the composition as well and luckily their color worked nicely with the rest of the set. I lit the scene from the side with my strobe and blocked the light in the top and bottom parts of the frame to create a spotlight on the ribs.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/11, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.