It’s the Little Things from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen

If you’re Cuban, you know that we love to refer to things diminutively.
For example, we don’t just have café. We have a cafécito.
And to my big, fat Cuban family and friends, I’m not always Marta, I’m Martica. Which is totally fine by me. The diminutive form of the word makes people and things friendlier and, I don’t know… cuter, somehow. =D
So today I pulled out my trusty crockpot to make some baby-back ribs, or costillas, or in true Cuban form, costillitas.
That way, you can eat a dozen and it’s no big thing. 😉

Martica’s Costillitas de Puerco
3 – 4 lbs. Baby back pork ribs, split into individual ribs
8 oz. chicken broth
8 oz. dark beer (I like Newcastle Brown Ale)
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Honey
2 tsp. Oregano
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
5 garlic cloves – minced
2 tsp. Smoked paprika (or pimenton)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1) In a large skillet, quickly brown ribs in olive oil over medium high heat.
2) Place browned ribs in 5 quart crockpot.
3) In a medium size bowl, mix all the other ingredients together.

3) Pour into a saucepan and bring just to a boil.
4) Pour this sauce over ribs.
5) Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Or on low for 6-8 hours. NOTE: You can also cook in a pressure cooker for about 25 minutes.
6) When the ribs are cooked, remove to a serving platter and keep warm.
7) Skim the fat off of the liquid and pour into a saucepan.
8) Bring to boil over medium-high heat.

9) Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is reduced.
10) Spoon the sauce over the ribs.

And speaking of Cuban families and food, here’s a little thing I wanted to share with you, my Babalú family – look who is enjoying my cookbook:

Yes, that’s Desi Arnaz, Jr. (be still my foolish heart… *sigh*)
I know. Shut up!
I feel so accidentally cool. 😉