Mexican barbecue ribs recipe

There is something about pork marinated in citrus juices, garlic and chillies and then cooked over hot coals that is totally irresistible. This recipe is inspired by a wonderful lunch I had in Veracruz where they use all these flavours together with herbs and spices to produce a mouth watering meaty feast. If you can't get the chipotles, which are dried, smoked jalapeño chillies, or the anchos, which have a wonderful sweet flavour, just use a smoky barbecue sauce.

Serves 6

3 ancho chillies (optional)
3 tomatoes
3 tbs chipotles en adobo
¼ tsp freshly ground cumin
¼ tsp freshly ground allspice
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Olive oil
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
2kg spare ribs

If you are using the anchos, tear out the stems and seeds of these chillies and soak in boiling water for 15-20 minutes to soften them as you would dried mushrooms.

Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a high flame and put the tomatoes directly into the pan. Roast for about 10 minutes, turning a couple of times, but otherwise leaving the tomatoes to themselves. They should be blackened and charred in places, to give them a smoky flavour.

Drain the ancho chillies and add them to a blender with the chipotles, spices and garlic. Add the tomatoes, season well with plenty of salt and pepper and blitz to a smooth paste.

Wipe the frying pan and put it back over a high flame for a few minutes. Pour in 3 tbsp olive oil and when it is hot, turn the heat down to low, add the purée and fry and stir the paste for about five minutes. Add the citrus juices and continute to cook for another 10 minutes. Check for seasoning: you want a well-flavoured marinade.

Marinate the ribs for at least a few hours but preferably overnight. Cook over a medium to hot barbecue for 10-15 minutes or roast in a hot oven (180C/gas 4) for about 25-30 minutes. Serve with plenty of kitchen paper, as this makes for messy eating!

• This recipe is taken from Cook: a year in the kitchen with Britain's favourite chefs by Rebecca Seal (Guardian Books, £25). To order a copy for £17.50, visit the Guardian Bookshop

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