Barbecue Beef Ribs with Homemade Mole Barbecue Sauce

There’s a secret ingredient in these barbecue beef ribs that makes them the most succulent and tasty ribs you’ll ever eat!

Barbecue Beef Ribs

Allow me to introduce you to my family’s favorite holiday dish. Dessert? Nope. It’s meat. Ribs, to be precise. No jokes. Not only do I make the best ribs in the world, but my family would probably revolt if I would try not making them for a holiday.

Many have you have probably tried my ribs with homemade bourbon barbecue sauce. Smart of you – those are amazing! But bourbon isn’t kosher for Passover, so I decided I had to come up with a version that I could make on Pesach.

Enter my secret ingredient: cocoa powder. Yes, I am totally serious. With all the Passover food restrictions, I turned to an ingredient I can use, cocoa, to give my ribs an extra layer of flavor. Don’t worry, you totally don’t taste the cocoa, but it adds richness and flavor that you simply can’t get without it!

Anyway, put these on your menu this Passover. But I should warn you….they may be forced to make a reappearance at every holiday meal you ever cook. They’re that amazing!

ribs 2

Barbecue Ribs with Homemade Mole Barbecue Sauce
Recipe type: Condiment
Originally featured in my column in Ami Magazine
  • For the barbecue sauce:
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger
  • ½ jalapeño, seeds and membrane removed (use the whole thing if you like heat)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • for the Ribs:
  • Oil, for frying
  • 3 pounds ribs
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 1 batch barbecue sauce
  1. to make the sauce:
  2. Combine the onion, ginger and jalepeno in a food processor and process until very fine (just short of pureed).
  3. Heat the oil in a medium pot and add the onion mixture. Sautee for about 5 minutes until slightly translucent. Add the tomato sauce and simmer until it just starts boiling. Add the 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 the salt and adjust to taste.
  4. Remove from the flame and let cool. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
  5. to make the ribs:
  6. Preheat oven to 225.
  7. Heat oil in a frying pan or grill pan over medium heat.
  8. Season the ribs on both sides with salt and pepper and place in hot pan. Brown the ribs on all sides.
  9. Meanwhile, place a small amount of barbecue sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Remove the browned ribs from the grill pan and place on top of the barbecue sauce in the 9x13 pan.
  10. Pour the remainder of the sauce over the ribs. Cover the pan tightly and place in the oven. Bake at 225 for 5-7 hours. I like to do this overnight.
  11. Serve hot.

Thanks for stopping by! Who wants me to post one more recipe before Passover starts? If so, comment below and let me know what type…and I’ll see what I can do! -Miriam


  1. Devorah says

    Mmmmmm!!!! I can already smell it…
    For those of us who don’t use tomato sauce on Pesach, do you think pureed tomatoes might work? Or any other suggestion?
    And YES, we’d love to see more Pesach recipes. I’m still up to basics, because I haven’t “turned over” yet. Any good spin on the basics, with only minimal basic ingredients would be great!
    Chag Kosher V’Sameach!!!

  2. deb says

    I’d love another recipe. One with NO processed ingredients, please (although we do use sugar, salt and some basic spices and I do have citrus juice-home juiced- and grape juice).

  3. Esther says

    What type of wine do you use for this recipe? And is the jalapeño a must, or can it be left out (for those who don’t have it or if don’t like spicy)

  4. says

    We don’t celebrate passover, but I can still see these being a huge hit on the Easter table! No matter the day, I’m sure they’re great!

  5. Shelley says

    I made this as directed but the ribs came out almost raw. Had to put into microwave to make them palatable for dinner, then baked the rest at 350 for 1 hour – then they were delicious!
    Is the 225 temperature correct? I could barely smell them cooking all that time.
    Would love to remake these.

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