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Chocolate Chipotle Ribs & Charros

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Haven't posted or smoked in a while, too busy.

So here is something that's a little different take on ribs. It is called Chocolate Chipotle ribs and the recipe is by Steven Raichlen


Also Made his Charros


Plated up

I didn't particularly care for the beans. They were a little to firm and the dish was a little to soupy for my likeing. I will modify it a little next time and try again.

The ribs were pretty good though. Even the wife said do em again, and she's pretty pickey about her ribs.

Here's the recipes.

3 to 6 ( used 4 and plenty hot) canned chipotle peppers with 1 tablespoon (used 2) of their juice
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for
1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely grated or cut into pieces
2 strips (each 1/2 by 1-1/2 inches) fresh lemon zest, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure chile powder, such as ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 racks baby back pork ribs (4 to 5 pounds total)
Lime wedges, for serving
You’ll also need:
Place the chipotles and their juice, onion, garlic, 1/4 cup of cilantro, chocolate, lemon zest, brown sugar, chile powder, salt, and lemon pepper in a food processor and puree, adding enough oil to make a thick paste.
Using a rubber spatula, spread the chipotle paste on both sides of the racks. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. The longer the ribs marinate, the richer the flavor will be.
Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board. Let the ribs rest for a few minutes, then cut the racks in half or into individual ribs. Sprinkle the ribs with the remaining cilantro. Serve at once with lime wedges.
Variation: How to cook Chipotle Chocolate Ribs in a Smoker: Set up and light the smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to low (225 to 250 degrees F). Place the ribs in the smoker bone side down and smoke until cooked through, 4 to 5 hours. You’ll need to replenish the wood chips or chunks after the first and second hour of smoking and to replenish the coals every hour.


Tips: The purist will want to start with dry pinto beans and cook them from scratch. Not only does this give you the satisfaction of doing the job right. You can also control the sodium (most canned beans are off the chart in salt content) and you get a wonderful bean broth. However, in our hurried age, not everyone will have the time to cook dried beans, so I offer a highly tasty version of charros made with canned beans below.
1 pound (2cups) dried pinto beans
1 medium onion, cut in half
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To finish the charros:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter
3 strips bacon, cut crosswise into strips
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped
2 to 4 jalapeno chilies, seeded and diced (for spicier charros leave the seeds in)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Spread the beans on a baking sheet and pick through them, removing any twigs or pebbles. Rinse the beans in a colander. Place in a large bowl with cold water to cover by 4 inches. Soak the beans in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Drain the beans in a colander, rinse well, and place them in a large pot with water to cover by 4 inches. Pin the bay leaves to the onion halves with cloves and add to the beans. Gradually bring the beans to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer the beans, loosely covered, until tender (you should be able to crush one between your thumb and forefinger.) The beans should be soupy, but not watery. Add a little salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato, jalapenos, and cilantro and cook until the tomato juices have evaporated, 3 minutes. Stir the mixture into the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Correct the seasoning, adding the salt and pepper to taste: the beans should be highly seasoned. Serve the charros in small bowls (to hold the broth.)
Try to find a low sodium bean for this recipe. The best place to look for low sodium beans is at a natural foods store.
Serves 8 to 10
  1. 15 ounce cans cooked pinto beans
  2. 2 cups chicken or veal stock (for really great charros, used smoked chicken stock)
To finish the charros:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter
3 strips bacon, cut crosswise into strips
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped
2 to 4 jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely chopped (for spicier charros, leave the seeds in.)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1.Rinse the beans in a colander under cold running water. (This removes some of the excess salt.) Transfer the beans to a saucepan and add the stock. Simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Cook the flavorings as described in Step 3 above. Finish the beans as described above, adding plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
post #2 of 10
Man those look tasty...
post #3 of 10
You seem to have left out cooking the ribs. Were they cooked prior to putting chocolate mixture on them?
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I smoked them on my MES at 230 with apple wood, used a 3-1.5-.5 time.
post #5 of 10
Man those ribs were looking tasty!

I read what you said about in our hurried time folks not wanting to do beans from scratch, but really...how much effort or time does it take?

Slit open bag, dump into stockpot, fill with water and soak overnight.

This is why I shake my head sometimes.

After they are soaked, all you do is simmer them with the ingredients- nothing more than you would with the canned beans- and there you go!

Lots better, less sodium.

Thanks for the recipe I really liked your ribs. That's going into my file for sure and my brother in law is definitely gonna want me to make them for him!

post #6 of 10
Sounds tasty, especially with the chipotle PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #7 of 10
Everything looks great, congrats on the smoke and Q. Did the ribs have a taste reminding you of a mole? Happy New Year my friend.
post #8 of 10
looks good!!!!!!!
post #9 of 10
I like the beans and it's not really that hard to make things from scatch. Now to your rib rub it sounds pretty and I have seen alot of real mexican food mostly mule that uses chocolate in the recipe. So your recipes look good and maybe I should give them a try one day.
post #10 of 10
Looks great! I've used some cocoa in my rubs a couple of times, mostly for pork. First time I tried was at a fiery food & bbq show and this lady had a rub with cocoa and she did jerky with it...it was awesome so I've tried incorporating it a few times!! Good looking grub!
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