Mexican Braised Spare Ribs with Squash and Corn
Photography by Matt Taylor-Gross

Braise pork ribs with a homey, vegetable-rich sauce with a touch of heat, and use the leftovers for tacos. This is a classic recipe from Mexican cooking sage Josefina Velázquez de León.

Featured in: The Forgotten Legacy of Mexico’s Original Celebrity Chef

Yield: serves 4 to 6 people
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 5 poblano chiles
  • 12 lb. tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 12 lb. pork spare-ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. lard
  • 1 12 lb. zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced on the bias
  • 3 ears of corn, kernels removed and saved, cob thrown away
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 12 lb. firm Mexican cheese, for serving


  1. Heat the oven to broil. Place poblanos on a baking sheet and cook, turning as needed, until charred, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then trim, remove the seeds, and thinly slice.
  2. Meanwhile, cover tomatoes, garlic, and onion with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes are soft, 5 minutes. Drain, discarding liquid, place tomatoes, garlic, and onion in a blender, and purée until smooth.
  3. Heat the lard in a large saucepan over medium-high. Season ribs with salt and pepper and, working in batches, cook, turning as needed, until browned, about 6 minutes, and transfer the ribs to a plate. Add the reserved tomato purée, the zucchini, and the corn to the pan and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and the ribs and cook, uncovered, until thick and the ribs are tender, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Serve on a platter.