Print Recipe
3.8 from 5 votes

Smoked Cocoa-Ancho Beef Ribs

Near the beginning of this blog, I decided to try a very low carb (often called a "zero carb") way of eating. I wanted to create some interesting dishes and thought long and hard about what to do. This idea was born from spice blends that you'll find in the Mexican Mole's. It's an interesting blend of spices, chilies and ... chocolate! It's really quite excellent!

These are often found pre-sliced and sliced through and against the bones. Look for really meaty pieces with a nice marbling. In Mexico, I was only able to find full racks. It's the same cut and preparation, just ... a different look. Don't be alarmed if your ribs look different than mine. (I prefer it cut against the bone, however)

Ultimately, this has a slightly more complex flavor if you smoke it first, but the entire recipe can be done in an oven. Low and slow ... the end result is WONDERFUL!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time12 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 2245.1525kcal
Author: DJ Foodie


  • 5 lbs. beef short ribs membrane removed
  • 2 tbsp ancho pepper powdered
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 each chipotle pepper packed in adobo
  • 2 tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1 tsp coriander seed ground
  • 1/2 tsp cloves ground
  • 1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp table salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange zest (peel)
  • 1 each orange juiced
  • 4 each garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro washed and stems removed


  • Sometimes the beef ribs will have a fairly thick membrane on the underside of the ribs. This is extremely tough when eaten, and also lessens the flavor impact from the spices. If there is a membrane, remove it. This is best done by prying a butter knife between the membrane and the bones, at one end of the bone (or full rack, if it's come in this fashion). Once you've pried a piece of the membrane lose from the bone, use a towel to grab onto it. Slowly, but consistently and deliberately, pull the membrane off of the bone. It SHOULD come off in one big sheet. If it does not, simply repeat this step, until all the membrane has been removed.
  • Place the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Coat the ribs with the spice paste and allow to marinate for 6 to 12 hours.
  • Pre-heat an oven or a smoker, to 225°F.
  • Place the ribs on a rack, bone side down, in the oven or smoker and cook for approximately 4 hours.
  • After 4 hours, wrap the ribs in foil, or in a foil covered baking pan and continue to cook for a further hour or two. Cook until the meat is tender and recedes from the bones.


Serving: 4g | Calories: 2245.1525kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.4225g | Protein: 83.295g | Fat: 206.145g | Fiber: 4.17g