Texas Recipes

Costillas de Tejas (Texas Ribs)

(BPT) - Chef Servantes, a self-taught pitmaster and former champion and now judge of Food Network's hit show — Chopped — is widely known for his one-of-a-kind blends of New American Cuisine with Texas flair. Servantes is world renowned for using Smithfield Fresh Pork because of its quality, freshness and consistently great flavor.

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Prep: 30 min | Cook: 6 1/2 hr | Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 chipotle chile, chopped (from can of chipotle chiles in adobo)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon, Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or sherry vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Spanish paprika

Costillas de Tejas

  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Pinch cayenne or chipotle powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 racks Smithfield Pork Spareribs, membrane removed


Barbecue Sauce

  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat until warm and shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in ketchup and water; bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Scrape the barbecue sauce into bowl of food processor or blender; purée until smooth or desired consistency. Sauce will be very thick; let cool to room temperature. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Can be used immediately, however flavors will be more complex if kept overnight. Extra sauce can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week.

Costillas de Tejas

  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Place wire rack on aluminum foil covered baking sheet.
  2. Combine brown sugar, ancho chile powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, cayenne and black pepper in small bowl; mix well.


  1. Place 2 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil on counter (each about 4 inches longer than ribs). Place each rib rack on a piece of foil; sprinkle generous amount of spice rub over meaty side and massage into the meat. Turn over ribs and repeat on bone side. Seal ribs in foil and place, meaty side down, on rack on baking sheet.
  2. Bake ribs at 200 degrees F for 4 hours; reduce oven temperature to 175 degrees F and bake an additional 2 hours, until ribs are very tender and just about falling off the bone.
  3. Open foil packets and discard juices. Brush barbecue sauce over ribs; cut and serve.


Grilling is a proud tradition in every Hispanic community — from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and even in the U.S., every community uses the grill to create one-of-a-kind flavors. It's a tradition steeped in history, and the first-ever Smithfield Fresh Pork Grilling Cup, "Copa de la Parrilla,” invites Hispanic chefs to share their unique grilling styles with the world.


Recipe source: Ernest Servantes recipe (C) 2018 Smithfield Foods

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