Sticky spare ribs

Sticky spare ribs


5 people made this

About this recipe: Here pork spare ribs are simmered first to tenderise the meat and to remove some of the fat, before being roasted in a deliciously sticky orange and mustard glaze. Choose the meatiest ribs you can find. When serving them, remember to put out finger bowls and plenty of napkins for cleaning sticky fingers.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 12 

  • 12 meaty pork spare ribs, about 900 g (2 lb) in total
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • large strip of orange zest
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) orange juice
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp French mustard
  • ½–1 tsp chilli powder, or to taste

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Trim as much fat as possible off the spare ribs, then put them in a saucepan. Cover with cold water and add 2 tbsp of the vinegar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface from time to time.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tbsp vinegar, the oil, orange zest and juice, tomato purée, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and chilli powder in a small pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 4–5 minutes or until slightly reduced.
  3. Drain the ribs and arrange them in a single layer in a large roasting tin. Pour over the orange mixture and turn the ribs to coat them evenly. Loosely cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil and roast for a further 20–25 minutes, turning and basting occasionally, until the ribs are dark brown and sticky. Transfer to a large serving dish and serve warm.

Each spare rib provides

B1, B6, B12, E, niacin, calcium, zinc

Some more ideas

*For Oriental spare ribs, make the glaze from 2 tsp grated fresh root ginger, 3 tbsp clear honey, 1 tbsp tomato purée, 2 tbsp dark soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 2 tsp sherry vinegar and 1 tsp chilli sauce.
*Try a Cajun dry rub instead of a glaze. Mix together 2 tbsp paprika, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp dried thyme, b tsp black pepper, d tsp cayenne pepper and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves. Simmer the ribs as in the main recipe, then drain, cool slightly and coat in the rub before roasting.

Plus points

*Pork has an undeserved reputation for being a fatty meat – modern pork is extremely lean due to changes in breeding practices and butchery techniques. The fat that is still present is higher in mono and polyunsaturated fats than in saturated fats.
*Spare ribs are one of the fattier cuts of pork. Trimming off any visible fat, simmering in water and then roasting until crisp are clever ways to reduce their fat content.

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Reviews (2)


everyone loved these - 11 Oct 2010


Very tasty. - 17 Jul 2010

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