Ribs with Homemade Barbecue Mole Sauce

Miriam Pascal

This is the kind of fall-off-the-bones deliciousness that people will be talking about for years.

Type: Meat Prep Time: 540 minutes Level: Not mentioned

Homemade Mole Barbecue Sauce

1 medium onion

1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 3 cubes Gefen Frozen Ginger

1/2 a jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed (use the whole thing if you like heat)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 cups tomato sauce

1/2 cup Gefen Cocoa Powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup Alfasi Cabernet Sauvignon or other wine

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste


oil, for searing

3 pounds ribs

salt, to taste 

Homemade Mole Barbecue Sauce

Mole sauce is a traditional Mexican condiment that combines cocoa and hot peppers to create a fabulous spicy—and savory—dish. There’s no better time to try this sauce than Pesach, when cocoa is one of the ingredients that is actually used by most people. If your minhag doesn’t permit the use of jalapeño, try subbing something else for the sharpness—such as horseradish!

This sauce is used in the ribs recipe below, but would be great in other meat applications which require barbecue sauce, so double the recipe and keep some on hand!

Combine onion, ginger, and jalapeño in a food processor and process until very fine (just short of pureed).

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and sauté for about five minutes, until onions are slightly translucent. 

Add tomato sauce and simmer until it just begins to boil. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and wine. Simmer for about a half hour to an hour (longer is better because it will allow the flavors to combine nicely). Add salt and adjust seasoning to taste. 

Remove from the heat and let cool. Store in the fridge until ready to use.


Preheat oven to 225°F.

Heat oil in a frying pan or grill pan over medium heat.

Season the ribs on both sides with salt and pepper and place in hot pan. Brown the ribs on all sides.

Meanwhile, place a small amount of barbecue sauce on the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking pan. Remove the browned ribs from the grill pan and line them up over the barbecue sauce. Pour remaining sauce over ribs. Cover tightly and bake for 5 to 7 hours. (I like to do this overnight.) Serve hot.