Morisqueta is one of those dishes that when I make it, I ask myself why I don't make it more often. My grandpa loved to serve his morisqueta with Pork Chile Colorado, while I prefer to serve it with Costillitas en Salsa Ranchera (pork spare ribs). But really any pork or beef dish can be used. Some of my favorites include Shredded Beef Picadillo, Bistec Ranchero, Pork Chile Verde, and Carne de Puerco con Chile. Morisqueta can also be enjoyed meatless. Just spoon your favorite salsa, mild or spicy, over the beans and rice.
Traditionally, morisqueta is served with Arroz Blanco (white rice), but Mexican Rice works just as well in this recipe. To finish off this tasty and irresistible dish, morisqueta is topped with Mexican crema and crumbled queso fresco. In some regions, shredded cabbage is also a popular garnish.
Morisqueta is a complete meal on it's own that can be served with warm corn or flour tortillas, but because this recipe can feed a crowd I like to serve it with cooked nopales and simple fried quesadillas (recipe coming next week). No matter how you decide to serve your morisqueta, it will be a comforting dish that is sure to become a part of your dinner rotation.
Morisqueta de Costillita en Salsa Ranchera
(Salsa Ranchera Pork Spare Rib Morisqueta)
- 2 lbs. cross-cut pork spare ribs, cut into individual pieces
- 1 medium white onion, cut in quarters
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 8 roma tomatoes
- 2 to 3 serrano chiles
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard
- 3 cups Mexican Rice
- 3 cups cooked pinto beans
- Mexican crema
- Crumbled queso fresco
Place the spare ribs with half of the onion, garlic, and cilantro in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Fill the Dutch oven with enough water to completely cover the spare ribs. Season with 1 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 45 to 60 minutes until the ribs are tender. Drain and discard the onion, garlic, and cilantro.
While the spare ribs are cooking, bring the tomatoes, serrano chiles, and 3 cups of water to a boil with the remaining onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low; let simmer for 15 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree the cooked vegetables and the cooking water with the remaining fresh cilantro. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil or lard in the Dutch oven over medium high-heat. Add the cooked spare ribs and let cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned all over. Stir in the Salsa Ranchera. Cover and let simmer over low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat the Mexican rice and cooked beans while the spare ribs are simmering in the salsa. Spoon a serving of Mexican rice in the center of a dinner plate. Top with a serving of cooked beans, followed by a serving of the spare ribs. Garnish with Mexican crema and crumbled queso fresco. Enjoy!