There are several ways to prepare costela de porco (pork ribs) in Brazil. In general, an acidic marinade ensures that the meat is wonderfully tender so that the spare ribs do not have to cook for another hour. We help the whole process a little so that you can put these spare ribs on the table in two hours.
You have different types of spare ribs, but we have made our choice. We prefer to use the larger baby back ribs from Swift. These are much longer than the Dutch spare ribs we are used to and also nice and thick. With these spare ribs, there is no shame in sharing.
The marinade is a great mix of orange juice and lots of garlic. We have almost a whole bulb in the marinade. The meat will not taste excessively of garlic. During marinating and after heating, a milder garlic flavour remains on the meat that everyone can appreciate.
We had the porkribs in the marinade all night. They ended up there for 16 hours. It is not the case that the flavour is absorbed into the meat. Apart from the salt, the rest of the ingredients will only penetrate the meat a few millimetres at most. But because spareribs are not very thick, it still has results.
However, the orange juice does its job. The acid will break down the connective tissue, making the meat more and more tender. We recommend you not leave the ribs in the marinade for more than 24 hours. The meat will eventually become so tender that it has almost nothing to do with pork ribs anymore.
We now indirectly place the marinated ribs wrapped in aluminium foil on the grill and leave them there for two hours. We put one of the two half platesetters in the Kamado to create two zones.
The meat will now be steamed to the point where it almost falls off the bone. We don’t want to go too far because we want the ribs firm enough that we still need to chew.
We poke through the foil and into the meat to check how far the meat is. We do this with a toothpick or the probe of a thermometer. They are good if the probe goes in and out without too much resistance.
In principle, the spare ribs are now ready. You can see that in the retracted meat, which exposes the ribs. You could leave them wrapped to cool so you can grill them later in the week. We will now grill them directly over the direct side of the grates.
When grilling, keep a close eye on the colour. The target is, of course, a beautiful golden brown. A darker or even black spot here and there is no problem. Just don’t overdo it.
You can make these Brazilian spare ribs as tender as you want. We prefer them al dente. So tender that you can easily pull the meat apart, but it won’t fall off the bone on its own. Are you going to make these Brazilian spare ribs too? Let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram?
- Baby Back Ribs
- The juice of 3 oranges
- A handful of chopped parsley
- 8 cloves of garlic pressed
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 white onion chopped
- 1 finely chopped jalapeño pepper
- Remove the membrane from the spare ribs. Insert a dull table knife between the bone and the fleece and pull the blade up until you can get a finger under the membrane. Now pull off the membrane while pressing the spareribs down with the knife.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients into a marinade. Place the ribs in a ziplock bag and add the marinade.
- Press as much air out of the bag as possible before closing the bag. Leave the bag in the refrigerator overnight for up to 24 hours.
- Prepare a barbecue with two zones and a boiler temperature of about 180ºC (356F).
- Wrap the marinated spare ribs tightly with aluminium foil, place them on the indirect side of the barbecue and close the lid.
- Leave the spare ribs for one and a half to two hours, and then check with a toothpick or your thermometer probe that the meat is tender enough.
- Unwrap the spare ribs and grill them on both sides over direct heat until the meat is golden brown.