Costillas de Cerdo al Horno

Braised Pork Rib Racks


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Tapas


Appears in


By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

Meaty, sticky, smoky and sweet — these braised pork ribs are fun finger food for carnivores. There is something primal about holding a bone in your hand and pulling the meat off with your teeth. Some people can do this with such style and panache that it becomes sensual.

In Spain, costillas are sold in shops pre-marinated with paprika and garlic, ready to be taken home and cooked. They are brilliant when slowly chargrilled — as are these pork ribs. This is a recipe we developed recently, a smoky rich marinade that clings to sweet gelatinous ribs.


  • 2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) pork rib racks, breastbone removed
  • several pinches of fine sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) Pedro Ximénez sherry or other sweet sherry
  • 125 ml (2 fl oz/½ cup) dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) sherry vinegar


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).

Put the rib racks in a large bowl. Season them with the sea salt then add the garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, honey, sherry, white wine, mustard and parsley. Mix thoroughly, making sure the ribs are carefully covered in the marinade. Marinate for at least 1 hour.

In a large roasting tin, pour in 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) hot water and the sherry vinegar. Place the ribs in the sherry water, meaty side down, and pour the marinade over the ribs. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. Turn, meaty side up, and cook for 1 hour, or until very tender.

To serve, cut the ribs apart into single bones with a sharp knife and serve warm.