Tomato-Braised Pork Ribs

One of my family’s favorite ways for me to cook pork ribs (other than Chamorro BBQ) is to braise it in a thick and sweet tomato sauce.

My mom used to make this for us growing up, only she used tomato ketchup (I still make it this way sometimes).

What is braising, you ask? Braising is a form of cooking with liquid so that the moist heat breaks down connective tissues in tough cuts of meat, leaving them quite tender and fall-off-the-bone good.

I usually cook this dish in a large soup pot (I start it a couple of hours before I intend to serve it), but if you’re pressed for time, you can easily prepare this in a pressure cooker.

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Tomato-Braised Pork Ribs



  • 2 slabs baby back pork ribs
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses


Rinse each slab of ribs, then trim off any excess fat. Separate each rib then place into a large pot over medium high heat.


Add the soy sauce, vinegar and garlic to the pot. Stir to evenly coat each rib with the liquid and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.


Add the onions and water to the pot.


Stir in the crushed tomatoes and molasses. Blackstrap molasses is not too sweet, but adds just the right amount of sweetness for this dish. If you don’t have molasses, you can add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar.


Now it’s time to start the braising process. Cooking the ribs in this delicious tomato sauce, long and over medium-low heat, is the key to creating fall-off-the-bone yumminess. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Place a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil over the top of the pot, tightly sealing it. Place a lid over the foil. Simmer the ribs for at least 2 hours.

This is what the ribs looked like before braising.


This is the “after” photo. Notice how the sauce reduced and thickened (it’s so good poured over steamed white rice!).


Serve with hot white rice (don’t forget the sauce, too) and ENJOY!


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  1. sarah crisistomo says:

    Hi im making this right now. I dont have malasses of anything so i used light brown sugar. U mention a coupe tablespoons. So i used 2. Hopefull it comes out well without molasses. Thanks for shsring and will let u know how it turn out

  2. Lynn says:

    Whoops! I meant Blackstrap molasses.

  3. Lynn says:

    Hi, can I use regular molasses instead of backstrap molasses?

    Am having trouble finding backstrap molasses here on Guam.

  4. starr671 says:

    Hi, can I use a slow cooker for this recipe?

  5. Dean Ada says:

    My Daughter made this last night and would just like to tell you ….. Damn that’s delicious!!!! Thank You for sharing….

  6. Tandra says:

    Could I use country style pork ribs? If so, how much? Going to make today!

  7. Lore says:

    Hi Annie,

    Tried this recipe tonight for my family. This was a winner! The pork ribs were very tender, and the sauce with the combination of all the ingredients was excellent. We definitely want to make this again. I bet this recipe would also go great with oxtails. Thank you so much for sharing this and we hope to try more of your recipes.

  8. Mary says:

    Hi Annie! I’m making this dish right now! Can’t wait to taste the end results.

  9. Tess Guerrero says:

    Hi Annie, giving your ribs recipe a try. I didn’t have crushed tomatoes and molasses so I improvised, puréed can of diced tomatoes used brown sugar but didn’t catch your note, COUPLE SPOONS and poured 1/2 cup! I tasted, not too sweet, actually like flavor. It’s braising on the stove now, will give you update on how it turned out later.

  10. Debbie San Gil says:

    Made this for our dinner tonight… DELICIOUS!!! Hubby says it’s a keeper! Will be making this again.

  11. Vivian says:

    The pictorial is perfect and this ribs you can literally taste it…thank you!

  12. Del says:

    This sounds so delicious and easy. I go for both. Thanks Annie.

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