Tequila Ribs

One of my pet hates are ingredients added to recipes just to be different without much regard for what it actually tastes like. I am aware that these Tequila Ribs could be one of those recipes. Ribs marinated in tequila and clementine juice is not the most obvious pairing but it sure tastes good.

And another “Man Food” recipe on the blog is well overdue. I think soon enough the Beer and Nuts Ice CreamPumpkin Ale and Smashed Toffee Ice CreamBeer Pickled Onions and Peri Peri Chicken can have their own category on the Recipe Index.  If it will make Homer Simpson happy, the recipe can go in the Man Food section.

Tequila Ribs

There was a reason in getting to the combination. The Feb/Mar issue of the Donna Hay magazine had some tasty recipes for ribs which I wanted to try at some point. And shortly after that Clemengold dropped off a basket, filled with juicy and sweet fruit and a few other products made with the fruit. I took the recipe for Sticky Orange Sweet & Sour Ribs and replaced the orange juice with the clemengold juice.  I have also seen many rib glazes with bourbon in it, so I thought tequila could be an option. A spin on a Tequila Sunrise in a way. OK, a huge stretch from a Tequila Sunrise!

Tequila Ribs

The recipe takes a bit of planning and I found that it helps to get smaller ribs unless you have big pots for the boiling and a huge stove to grill it all at once. The alternative is to do it in batches. Or straight on the barbecue for some added smokiness. Since I was going to roast the ribs in the oven, I added some smoked jalapenos to amp up the smoky flavour of the ribs. If you are going to put these on the barbecue you could cut out the jalapenos and just use the chilli flakes for a little bit of heat (which I think the marinade needs).

The end result is juicy, zesty, sweet ribs with a sour note from the vinegar for a finger licking, serviette destroying meal. Oh, and ribs always need chips (and beer).  And McCain’s new Fry Chips is just the solution. Ready in just three minutes, it can not get any easier.



Sweet and Sour Tequila Ribs


  • Stock
  • 1 x 8cm-piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups malt vinegar
  • ½ cup (90g) brown sugar
  • 2 cups clementine juice
  • 2 heaped teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons table salt
  • 2 litres water
  • 4 racks (about 2kg) pork ribs
  • Marinade
  • ¾ cup tequila
  • ? cup malt vinegar
  • zest of two clemetines
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 2 smoked jalapenos in adobo sauce, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 -2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. Place all the stock ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. If needed, cut the ribs in half so they fit the pan. Add the ribs, reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes until the ribs are tender.
  4. While the ribs are cooking, make the marinade.
  5. Place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
  6. Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid and place in a large baking dish.
  7. While the ribs are still hot, pour over the marinade and rub evenly to coat the ribs.
  8. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or place the ribs in a few large ziplock plastic bags and refrigerate overnight.
  9. Preheat oven to 220°C
  10. Place the ribs on a wire rack set over a baking trays lined with a few sheets non-stick baking paper. (Depending on the size of your oven you might have to do this in 2 batches.)
  11. Brush the pieces of jalapeno off the ribs (if used) so that it does not burn while roasting and roast the ribs for 20 minutes, brushing with the marinade every 5 minutes until brown and sticky.
  12. Adapted from Donna Hay
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* This post is not sponsored but both Clemengold and McCain sent products for me to cook with.

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