The Best Stovetop Ribs: Arroz Con Costillas De Cerdo (Mexican Rice With Ribs Of Pig)

Add a Mexican flair to your pork ribs or pork chops with this delicious stovetop recipe!

Pork is a major constituent in the Mexican diet as are peppers, onions, tomatoes, and rice. This traditional old peasant dish uses them all and elevates itself from everyday fare to something special. You can use country style ribs or spareribs in this prep, but do not use baby backs. They are too curvy to brown properly in a pan. Country ribs will take longer than spare ribs because the meat is thicker, and because they really are chops, not ribs.

Hungry for more ribs recipes, tips, and techniques? Click here to download our ebook "Amazing Ribs Made Easy" $3.99 on Amazon (free Kindle app runs on all computers and devices). Or, get this book and others FREE as a member of the Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.

Best of all, they are cooked indoors making it the perfect thing to cook on cold winter days.

Average: 2.8 (33 votes)

Average Rating - Votes are tabulated end of day

Please rate this recipe ONLY after you cook it: 

Share This Recipe:

Print Recipe


This is a great stove-top recipe for pork ribs or chops swimming in a lush, juicy sauce on a bed of rice. Pork is a major constituent in the Mexican diet as are peppers, onions, tomatoes, and rice. This traditional old peasant dish uses them all and elevates itself from everyday fare to something truly special.

Course. Lunch. Dinner. Entree.

Cuisine. Mexican.

Makes. 2 servings, 1/2 slab each.

Takes. 30 minutes for preparation, and up to 2 hours for cooking.


To Start

1 ancho (dried poblano) pepper

6 slices of smoked bacon

2 ounces cured, smoked ham or Canadian-style bacon, diced

2 medium onions, diced

3 red bell peppers, seeded and diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 jalapeño (leave the seeds and ribs in)

1 cup tomato sauce

1 tablespoon capers

12 green olives with pimentos

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 teaspoons Chipotle Tabasco for a mild heat

8 country ribs or 1 slab of spareribs cut into individual ribs

The Finish

1 can (19 ounces) garbanzos (chickpeas)

Salt and pepper to taste

The Rice

2 cups rice

1 tablespoon Morton's coarse kosher salt (read more about the science of salt here)

About the ribs. Spare ribs will take only about 60 to 90 minutes to get tender, but country ribs, which are really chops not ribs, have thicker meat and may take longer, up to 2 hours.


1) Split the ancho, discard the seeds and stem, and tear it into large flat pieces. Heat a large, deep non-stick frying pan, on medium. Place the ancho pieces in the pan and press them down with a spatula for 30 to 60 seconds, just enough to toast them or until steam rises. Turn them over and repeat. This amps up the flavor. Set them aside, and when they cool, break them into 1/2" pieces.

2) Add the bacon to the hot pan, and cook until it starts rendering fat.

3) Turn the heat down to medium. Add the meat to the pan and brown them in the bacon fat on both sides. If you are using spareribs, do the best you can to brown them on the meaty side or brown them under the broiler.

4) If the bacon is getting crisp, remove it. Otherwise, leave it in the pan. Remove the pork and toss in the ham, peppers, and onions. Cook until they are limp, stirring occasionally.

5) Add the tomato sauce, olives, capers, ancho, oregano, Tabasco, and meat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, just above low. Stir and simmer uncovered until tender, an hour for spare ribs, longer for country ribs and chops, perhaps 2 hours. If you are not using a non-stick pan, stir occasionally to make sure nothing is burning on the bottom of the pan. If the liquid gets too thick and too low, add a bit more water.

6) After the ribs have simmered for 25 minutes, in another pot, boil four cups water and the salt. Add the rice, cover, and cook for 30 minutes until ready or follow the directions on the box. Tip: to keep rice from sticking to the cooker or pot, coat it lightly with vegetable oil.

7) About three minutes before serving, add the garbanzos to the ribs. Serve by scooping the rice onto a plate and place the ribs and liquid on top. Serve with a bottle of hot sauce on the side.

"We all know the moon isn't made out of green cheese...but if it was made out of barbeque spare ribs would you eat it?"Will Ferrell

Meathead Goldwyn

Meathead is the founder and publisher of, and is also known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", a New York Times Best Seller and named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.




Get Smoke Signals, our free e-letter. No spam. Guaranteed

Enter your email:

If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad free experience and much more!

Millions come to every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us. 

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.

Post comments and questions below


1) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

2) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer.

3) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different than your membership login.



Click to ask questions and make comments