About a month ago I made a controversial recipe. My Italian Pork Ribs Parmesan. I received a lot of feedback, some good and well some...Let's just say not so kind. I decided to double down and create another rib recipe that will anger rib purists and amaze anyone with an open mind.
Baby Back Cubano Ribs take all the great flavors of the Cubano sandwich and serve it up hot on top of mojo marinated pork baby back ribs. I smoked the ribs to give the pork a smoky punch but you can totally make this recipe in the oven. If you love cubans you will also love my Cuban Casserole recipe found on my grilling website.
From what I’ve read via Wikipedia the Cuban sandwich originated in Key West and Miami in the late 1800s. It was a quick and easy sandwich created by the cigar factory workers with ingredients they had available. Later the sandwiches popularity grew up the Florida coast to Tampa. The high population of Italian immigrants started substituting salami and provolone instead of ham and Swiss. I will definitely have to give that a try next time.
Prepare these baby back ribs just as you normally would by removing the membrane from the back. use a paper towel to get a better grip and pull the membrane off and discard. Trim any excess fat, pieces of bone or cartilage that would be unpleasant to eat.
After you have seasoned the baby back ribs make thin slits against each bone so that as the ribs cook they will push out making them easier to remove later. After that it's time to get cooking.
For these Cubano Ribs I wanted to use traditional flavors normally used with pork shoulder. Mojo is a sauce or marinade that contains garlic, citrus either olive oil or lard. Mojo has a tangy flavor that is great with chicken, pork and shrimp.
In addition to the mojo rub and marinade I wanted to add something spicy and salty. Tony Chacheres is a fantastic creole all purpose seasoning that I have a hard time pronouncing but it sure is tasty.
Yellow mustard not only acts as a binder to hold the seasoning to the bork but it also helps tenderize the baby back ribs.
Obviously if you have a smoker you are going to have much more flavorful ribs than cooking in a traditional oven. Slow smoked ribs are one of my favorite meals but I like to switch things up and think outside the box.
Smoking the ribs will take longer then cooking them in the oven but we all know good things come to those who wait. either way the citrus flavors from the mojo rub and marinade combined with the pickles ham and Swiss is a combination you will absolutely love!
No smoker? No problem. you can make these Cuban ribs in the oven using the same methods but they will actually cook faster at a higher temperature. I smoke the ribs at 250 degrees but you can cook them at 400 degrees F in the oven uncovered for 1 hour. Then pour over the mojo marinate and wrap in foil and bake for an additional 90 minutes until the rib bones are easily removed. top with the pickles, ham and Swiss and broil just long enough to melt the cheese and warm the ham.