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Brazilian-Style Pork Ribs (Costela de Porco Assada)

What is for dinner tonight? Well, at my house it will be Brazilian-Style Pork Ribs… Oh, yes! I am counting the minutes with anticipation. It has been quite a long while since I last had Brazilian-style pork ribs — or at least one of the several styles of ribs that exist in my home country.

There are a variety of ways to both marinate and cook costela de porco (pork ribs) in Brazil. The most famous is the costelinha de porco à mineira — a typical dish from Minas Gerais state– which is cut, seasoned, and stir-fried, and the subsequently mixed with a corn dish called canjiquinha (a course ground corn – called xerém in the Northeastern Brazil– that is cooked like polenta). When not prepared Mineira-style, the pork ribs can alternatively be prepared in a pressure cooker, grilled, deep-fried, or braised in the oven.

Since we decided to leave ours whole and it is still cold outside, we’ll be preparing these pork ribs in the oven instead of on the barbeque grill. In this way, these pork ribs can be enjoyed all year round regardless of the weather. We suggest to serve our  pork ribs accompanied by polenta and couve à mineira. I can already envision the huge smile stamped on my hubby’s face — and on mine as well. Boy, how I love these pork ribs!!!

I hope that you love them as well.

Tchau, tchau!! xx




Brazilian-Style Pork Ribs

Brazilian-Style Pork Ribs


Brazilian-Style Pork Ribs (Costela de Porco Assada)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 6
  • 4 teaspoons salt (1 teaspoon per pound or ½ kg)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon malagueta pepper or chili pepper(optional)**
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 pounds ( about 2 kg) pork spareribs (whole)
  • Vegetable oil (only for brushing)
  • Honey (optional)
  • ** If you do not like hot/spicy food, skip this ingredient.
  1. Process or blend the first 10 ingredients in a food processor or blender until obtaining a homogeneous mixture. Put the ribs in a large, deep rectangular baking pan, spread the mixture over the ribs and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
  3. Cover pan with aluminum foil, tightly sealing its edges so that steam will not escape (the ribs will braise in their own liquids and the marinade). Then, let ribs cook in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes (25-30 minutes per pound or ½ kg). Reserve the drippings/remaining marinade from the bottom of the pan and then transfer ribs to another large baking pan . Brush top of ribs with the oil (and then, honey if desired) and increase oven temperature to 425º F (220º C). Leave the pan uncovered this time and roast ribs for 10-25 minutes or until golden brown. Brush/baste the ribs with the reserved drippings/marinade from the first pan and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve pork ribs accompanied by polenta and couve à mineira.
  4. NOTE: If you are not overly concerned about the visual appearance, you can leave the pork ribs braising in the liquids/drippings for an additional 10 or 15 minutes before caramelizing which will result in an even more tender cut of meat. Although in Brazil we don't use honey with meats, I love to brush my pork ribs with it because it gives a great balance of flavor to the pork ribs.




Brazilian-Style Pork Ribs (costela de porco assada)

Brazilian-Style Pork Ribs (costela de porco assada)



Costela de Porco Assada


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19 Responses to Brazilian-Style Pork Ribs (Costela de Porco Assada)

  1. Nydia February 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    OMG….Denise, now I have to send my address so you can send to me some pork ribs…!!!

    • Denise Browning February 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      Thanks, Nydia! I wish I could mail you these ribs. 🙂 I am not kidding: The whole thing disappear in less than 24 hours. It was a lot of meat. Judging for how much my husband and children loved these ribs, I’ll have to make them again soon. xx

  2. Coffee and Crumpets February 27, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    We don’t eat pork so I’ll never know how they taste! However, reading through the ingredients, there isn’t one spice I don’t like. Maybe I can just do a rub on some chicken or even beef ribs. They look great regardless!


    • Denise Browning February 28, 2013 at 7:02 am #

      I do understand. You can make this marinade and spread on beef short ribs — or even chicken.
      However, you’ll have to adjust the baking time. If you make beef short ribs, braise the ribs for about 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until tender; and then, roast for 20 minutes or until golden. If you use a whole chicken, put in a large pot and braise with the marinade for about 1-1/2 hour. Don’t forget to cover the pot tightly. After that, uncovered the pot and let roast for 20 minutes or until golden. I love your comments! Have a great!xx

  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook February 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Can I come over! I know the dinner is over, but maybe next time! I’m famous for a big ribs eater among my friends. I LOVE RIBS!!! Brazillian style? I gotta try this! You made it in the oven too. My friend has a smoker so I should “suggest” to eat this ribs at his house. 😀

    • Denise Browning February 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

      I wish we live nearby each other, Nami! I’d be glad to have invited you for dinner. I am sure that with some smokeness that the ribs would be even more delicious. In Brazil, we do not smoke our meats often or add too much sauce b/c we like to taste the meat itself. We are big meat eaters. 🙂

  4. Julia | February 28, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    This looks so interesting! I am always looking for ways to cook ribs in a way other than just BBQ. Does this “Brazilian-style” recipe result in a substantially different flavor than just a regular BBQ?

    • Denise Browning February 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

      Julia: Yes, the flavor is different from the American ribs. There is a balance of flavors on these ribs: salty, sour, spicy, and just a hint of sweetness if honey is added to the recipe. Give them a try! Thanks for stopping by. xx

  5. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 9, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    These ribs look fantastic. I’m definitely going to try them. I will add the bit of honey 🙂

    • Denise Browning March 10, 2013 at 7:57 am #

      Thank you for visiting me, Maureen!
      I hope you have the chance to make these ribs and enjoy them…

  6. Raymund March 20, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    Wow those ribs looks awesome, Love it

  7. adw23 August 15, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    I like to do my ribs low and slow at 225 for 4 hours

    • Denise Browning October 10, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Thanks, Kate! I hope your Mom enjoys it. My family and I are crazy for it.

  8. Purabi Naha | Cosmopolitan Currymania July 15, 2014 at 1:59 am #

    This is absolutely full of flavours…apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce…rubbed in with the pork ribs will definitely create a heavenly experience. I am salivating!

    • Denise Browning July 15, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      Thank you, Purabi! Both my husband and children are crazy for this.


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