Sticky Pork Ribs

A Pork Spare Rib is a thing of beauty and needs to be treated with respect to get the best out of it.  It needs to be sticky and glistening  with BBQ sauce, but most importantly the meat must fall off the bone.

I have eaten some exceptional pork ribs and some pretty dire ones too, the latter being tough & sinewy.  A rack of ribs cannot just be thrown into the oven and be ready in less than an hour (unless tough and sinewy is your idea of done!).  Below is my method to re-create the fall off the bone variety of Sticky Pork Ribs at home.

Recipe (serves 2)

  • 8 – 10 Pork Ribs
  • 1 large Onion
  • 100g (1/2 cup) Water
  • 150g (3/4 cup) Tomato Sauce
  • 100g (1/2 cup) Chilli Sauce (optional)
  •   50g (1/4 cup) Dark Soy Sauce
  •   50g (1/4 cup) Honey/Syrup/Treacle
  • 1 teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Vegetable/Sunflower/Olive Oil


Start by marinading your pork ribs, ideally overnight, so that your marinade has the time to get deep into the meat.  Where possible find time to do this, as flavourwise it really does makes a big difference.

In a large bowl add 100 grams (1/2 cup) of the tomato sauce, all of the chilli sauce, dark soy sauce & black pepper.  Give it a good mix together, add your pork ribs to the bowl and make sure they are evenly coated in the marinade.  Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

Sticky Pork Ribs
Marinated Pork Ribs

After the ribs have been marinated.  Remove them from the fridge to bring them back up to room temperature.  Place a casserole dish on to your hob over a medium heat and add your oil.  Slice the onion and put into the casserole dish and gentle fry the onions until they start to soften.   Take the ribs out of the marinade and place onto the onions and pour in the water.  Save the marinade that is left in the bowl.

Take a piece of grease-proof/baking paper large enough to cover the ribs in the dish, so that no steam will escape.  This is known as a cartouche.  When the liquid comes to the boil, lower the heat and leave it alone to simmer for at least 75 minutes.

Sticky Pork Ribs
Cartouche covering the Ribs, Onion & Water

After 75 mins you should see that the pork bone is starting to be exposed.  If not, replace the cartouche and simmer for about another 20 minutes or until it looks like the meat has started to shrink off the bone.

Sticky Pork Ribs
Cooked Pork Ribs before Glazing

Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.  Remove the ribs from the casserole dish and place onto a baking tray, saving the onions for a bit later.  Using the left-over marinade add the remaining 50 grams of tomato sauce and the honey/syrup.  Another good splash of soy sauce wouldn’t hurt either!  Mix this all together and evenly coat the ribs with approximately 3/4 of the marinate and place into the oven for about 15 mins.

Sticky Pork Ribs
Glaze the Ribs with the Marinade

Add the remaining marinade and then the onion to the ribs and place back into the oven for another 5 mins.

Sticky Pork Ribs

Serve immediately with chips or potato wedges.

Sticky Pork Ribs

Sticky Pork Ribs
As promised – falling off the bone!

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