My first savoury dish on this blog! My mum and I saw this being prepared on Lorraine Pascale’s tv show Home cooking made easy and I thought it would be nice to make because I like ribs but I don’t like to order them in restaurants because they are very messy and I end up with my face and hands covered in sauce, which is not a good look, so I thought that it would be good to make them myself and get messy in the privacy of my own home. Of course, the French seem determined to stop me from making anything properly and pretended not to know what pork ribs were. Even when I pointed at my ribs and said “these, but from a pig” the butcher I was talking to still said over and over again “that doesn’t exist”. Despite this discouraging conversation my mum went back the next day and bought a side of pork, which the butcher said he couldn’t cut up! Seriously??? Anyway, I cut it up with a meat cleaver into ribs sized chunks and voila! Maybe I should go back and show the butcher how to do it.
This is a really nice meal that isn’t too spicy, is very tasty and it’s good fun to make.
For the rub
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- few whole Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tbsp five-spice peppercorns
For the ribs
- 1kg/2lb 4oz pork spare ribs
- ½ bunch spring onions, trimmed, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the honey glaze
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- few squidges honey
- 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
- 150ml/5fl oz soy sauce
- 1lime, zest only
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds (optional, although I love them!)
- 1-2 red chillies, deseeded, finely sliced
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a large baking tray or roasting tin with aluminium foil.
- For the rub, crush the star anise, fennel seeds and Sichuan peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Then add the five-spice powder and some salt and mix together to combine.
- Put the ribs into a bowl, sprinkle over the rub mixture and rub everything in. Tip the ribs onto the baking tray and spread them out in a single layer.
- Cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the honey glaze in a small pan. Warm over a low heat until the honey is melted and all the ingredients are well combined.
- Remove the ribs from the oven, brush generously with the honey glaze, then sprinkle with the spring onions and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Set the rest of the honey glaze aside for later.)
- Return the ribs to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes.
- Once the ribs are cooked, remove them from the oven and tip them onto a large plate. Reheat the remaining honey glaze and serve as a dipping sauce with the ribs and a large green salad.