Sticky ribs

The photo doesn’t really do these ribs justice.  They are sticky, savoury, sweet and just delicious.  A friend made something similar for a party a few months ago and they disappeared very quickly indeed.

This recipe is loosely based on one of Hugh F-W’s in his Everyday recipe book. I have added cumin and rosemary to add a bit of an edge and instead of honey I used maple syrup.  I used my medlar jelly, but you could use redcurrant, bramble or any other fruit jelly you may have in the cupboard.

If I had more patience I would have cooked them a little bit longer so that they were really caramelised but we were hungry and I couldn’t wait any longer.

I would definitely recommend having lots of paper cloth to hand as you will need it to mop sticky fingers and chins.

Enough for four hungry people.

1.5 kg pork ribs

6 tbsp medlar, or other fruit jelly
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp finely chopped root ginger
½ tsp crushed chilli flakes
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped


Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together.  Place the ribs in a single layer in a shallow oven proof dish.  Pour the marinade over and cover the ribs well by turning them over in the marinade.

Place in the fridge for a few hours (as much time as you have) turning the ribs a couple of times.

Hugh F-W recommends covering the dish with foil, cooking in a preheated oven at 170°c, gas mark 3, for 45 minutes.  Then turning the oven up to 190°c, gas mark 5, removing the foil, turning the ribs over, and cooking for another 35 minutes.

I, of course neglected to read any of this.  I put my ribs (without foil) in to the baking oven of my Aga (about 180°) for about 1 hour and 20 minutes (whilst I took the girls swimming) and then moved them into the roasting oven (about 200°c) for another 15 minutes when I got back.  They might have been stickier with another 5-10 minutes in the roasting oven, but we were all hungry.  This worked out well, so it’s up to you if you want to try the advice of a professional or my more slapdash approach to cooking dinner.

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