Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Baby-Back Rib Tacos With Pineapple Salsa

Cuisine: Latin
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2-3 hours
Servings: 4-6 people
I want my baby-back, baby-back, baby-back rib tacos. These ones are bursting with flavor, spices and sazón!

Besides slathered in my favorite barbecue sauce, a delicious way that I like to enjoy baby-back ribs is in a taco. This recipe does require a few extra steps, but they're easy, and it's worth it! You'll be more than happy with these tacos smothered in a tangy, spicy and sweet chile/cumin glaze. A colorful salsa loaded with fresh pineapple, habanero pepper and cilantro complete this dish.

In my research for new recipes, I was inspired by Chef Scott Linquist of Coyo Taco. This recipe is adapted from one of the many fresh tacos they are known for. The key to these tasty baby-back rib tacos is to start with the freshest ingredients.


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For the Adobo
  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Remove stems and seeds from chile ancho and chile pasilla, tear into pieces, and add to boiling water. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the chiles, transfer to blender and add the remaining ingredients for the adobo sauce. Add the 3/4 cup fresh water or broth. Blend on high until smooth, set aside.
For the Ribs
  1. Place rack of ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet or inside a large baking dish. Season both sides with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Separate 3 tablespoons of adobo into a small bowl and reserve for later. Take the remaining adobo and cover the ribs generously on both sides. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap, directly covering the ribs. Marinate for at least 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, remove the ribs from refrigerator 30 minutes before placing them in the oven. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Remove plastic wrap and discard. Cover the ribs tightly with foil paper. Roast for 2 hours, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the Glaze
  1. While the ribs marinate, prepare the glaze. The longer it sits, the better it will taste. In the blender, add the lime juice, agave or honey, chile peppers, garlic, cumin, reserved adobo sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook on medium/low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
For the Pineapple Salsa
  1. Prepare the pineapple salsa while the ribs cool. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir well to combine, taste for salt, and chill until ready to serve.
To Assemble Tacos
  1. Remove all the meat from the bones, trying to keep it in larger pieces. When ready to prepare the tacos, preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add the meat from the ribs and cook to sear, tossing as needed. Add the reserved glaze and cook ribs just until warm and evenly coated with glaze. Serve with warm corn tortillas, pineapple salsa, cilantro, cotija cheese and lime.
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