Pork Ribs Vinha d’Alhos/Costelas em Vinha d’Alhos

Vinha d’Alhos is an ancient Portuguese meat marinade based on wine (vinho) and garlic (alho) with aromatics such as bay leaves, thyme, cloves and dried chillies (piri-piri). The magic combination of red wine and garlic makes up for a truly Portuguese flavour which has travelled the word during the 15th and 16th Century “descobrimentos” and made it to India where it became the basis of the Vindaloo.

This recipe takes the traditional marinade to cook falling off the bone pork ribs and create a deep and flavourful sauce. The ribs are served with halved boiled potatoes with skin (batatas à racha) and sautéed kale.

We use kuzu, a Japanese flavourless gluten-free starch thickener which gives the sauce a rich velvety texture.

Vinha d'Alhos
Vinha d’Alhos

Serves 4

2 stacks of ribs (cut in half horizontally and with each rib split independently)

Sea salt

3 small dried chillies (piri-piri or malagueta)

3 glasses of rich red wine

8 cloves of garlic (peeled and sliced)

4 bay leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

4 large potatoes (washed and cut in half lengthwise)

250gr kale

1 tbsp kuzu (or cornflour)

1. Marinade the ribs in wine, 6 cloves of sliced garlic, sea salt and bay leaves in a large casserole for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days!

2. Cook the ribs in the casserole (covered) in a slow oven (160-180 ºC) for 2.5 hours with the mariande. Make sure to turn the meat in the sauce half way and check that meat soft and falling off the bone before removing from oven.

3. 30 minutes before serving boil the potatoes in salted water, check for doneness with a knife and set aside.

4. While the potatoes are cooking, sauté the kale for 8-10 minutes in a tablespoon of olive oil, then add 2 cloves of garlic (finely sliced), cook for another couple of minutes.

5. Once the ribs are cooked remove to a flat oven tray (keeping the juices) and place on the top of the oven (increase temperature to 190-200ºC). This will give the ribs a nice glazed and crispy look while retaining the tender flaky texture. Leave for 8-10 minutes while you finish the sauce.

6. For the sauce, filter the juices from the meat in a strainer and heat in a saucepan. Mix the kuzu with 2 tbsp of cold water then add to the saucepan. Stir and reduce for a couple of minutes, check seasoning. The sauce should become the consistence of a light gravy.

Vinha d'Alhos
Vinha d’Alhos Marinade



Published by

Pedro Rebelo

Pedro is a composer, sound artist and performer. In 2002, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh where he conducted research in both music and architecture. Pedro has recently led participatory projects involving communities in Belfast, favelas in Maré, Rio de Janeiro, travelling communities in Portugal and a slum town in Mozambique. This work has resulted in sound art exhibitions at venues such as the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, Centro Cultural Português Maputo, Espaço Ecco in Brasilia and Parque Lage and Museu da Maré in Rio, Museu Nacional Grão Vasco and MAC Nitéroi. His music has been presented in venues such as the Melbourne Recital Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Ars Electronica, Casa da Música, and in events such as Weimarer Frühjahrstage fur zeitgenössische Musik, Wien Modern Festival, Cynetart and Música Viva. His work as a pianist and improvisor has been released by Creative Source Recordings and he has collaborated with musicians such as Chris Brown, Mark Applebaum, Carlos Zingaro, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros as well as artists such as Suzanne Lacy. His writings reflect his approach to design and creative practice in a wider understanding of contemporary culture and emerging technologies. Pedro has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University (2007), senior visiting professor at UFRJ, Brazil (2014) and Collaborating Researcher at INEM-md Universidade Nova, Lisboa (2016). He has been Music Chair for international conferences such as ICMC 2008, SMC 2009, ISMIR 2012 and has been invited keynote speaker at ANPPOM 2017, ISEA 2017, CCMMR 2016 and EMS 2013. At Queen's University Belfast, he has held posts as Director of Education, Director of Research and Head of School. In 2012 he was appointed Professor of Sonic Arts at Queen's and awarded the Northern Bank's "Building Tomorrow's Belfast" prize. He has recently been awarded two major grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council including the interdisciplinary project “Sounding Conflict”, investigating relationships between sound, music and conflict situations. Ongoing research interests include immersive sound design and augmented listening experiences. Pedro has been appointed Director of the Sonic Arts Research Centre in 2021.

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