Thursday, 6 February 2014

Cooking with Booze: Tequila-Glazed Ribs and Moreish Margaritas

Tequila...friend or foe? Turns out, it's a friend for me and foe for the other half. The Mexcian spirit famed for its flamboyancy and ability to get the party started, and revered and blamed for the dreaded hangover, is not for the weak.

Normally avid wine drinkers, the other half and I branched out last weekend and hit the tequila. Admittedly there were no slammers involved, but we're ashamed to say we did polish off an entire bottle thanks to tequila-glazed ribs on the menu and a side of smack-you-in-the-face Magaritas.

Sticky, sweet, saucy and spicy these tequila glazed ribs are to die for! Yes, there's a list of ingredients as long as your arm (sorry, I got carried away!) and yes, they take time to cook, but I assure you, it's more than worth the wait. I served mine with sweet potato fries, a fresh corn and tomato salsa, and plenty of napkins - be warned, it gets messy.

Tip from experience? Make sure you've done all the prep for the ribs before you start on the Margaritas - they are super strong and may inhibit kitchen proficiency. Sip slowly and pace yourself!

Margarita recipe


  • 2 parts Silver Tequila
  • 1 part Triple Sec
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Salt for the rim of the glass
  • Margarita glass (ideally) to serve
Shake it!

1. Add Tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice and ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and shake it like a polaroid picture.

2. Rub the rim of the glass with a wedge of lime then dip in salt - easiest if you tip in onto a plate first.

3. Strain the cocktail into the glass and finish with a slice of lime for extra Margaritary effect.

Tequila Glazed Ribs recipe (serves 2-3)


1 rack pork ribs

For spice rub

2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp chilli flakes
1tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

For glaze
1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup white (silver) Tequila
Juice of 1 lime
2 cloves crushed fresh garlic
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons Reggae Reggae sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce


Preparing the ribs

1. Preheat oven to approx 140 degrees celcius.
2.Toast coriander and cumin seeds in a dry pan on the hob until aromatic - be sure not to burn!
3. In a jar, crush the toasted seeds with the end of a rolling pin.
4. Add ground ingredients, chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
5. Screw on the jar lid and shake to combine dry spices.
6. Lay foil in a large tray and lay ribs on top.
7. Rub 1/2 the spice mix on one side, flip rib rack over, and rub in the remaining spices.
8. Lay another sheet of foil on top and double fold edges to make a pouch for the ribs.
9. Cook for 2 hours until tender.

Adding the glaze

1. In a medium pan over a medium heat add brown sugar and 1/2 cup of tequila and stir until sugar dissolves.
2. Add agave nectar, lime juice, tomato paste, Reggae sauce, soy sauce and molasses. Stir until combined.
3. Add chilli, lime zest, garlic and ginger and again stir to combine.
4. Add remaining 1/4 cup of tequila, stir to combine and take off heat.
5. After 2 hours, remove rib rack from oven and remove top layer of foil.
6. Turn on the grill to a medium heat and whilst this heats, pour half the glaze over the rib rack.
7. Put the ribs under the grill for a few minutes then remove and pour over the rest of the glaze.
8. Return to the grill for another few minutes.
9. Separate ribs before serving, pile high on a plate and pour any sauce from the pan over the top.

Top photo: Steve Webster (CCL)

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