Sticky pork ribs

Serves 6-8

Sticky pork ribs

Sticky, chewy, sweet and sour, these ribs are impossible to resist. The glaze is packed full of vibrant, citrusy flavours, with the sweetness of the honey counteracting the spices. The secret is to get the ribs really well caramelised before you add any of the other ingredients. As they braise in the oven, that entire colour will turn into the most amazing flavour.

Ingredients

  • 2kg pork ribs, separated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 10cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2-4 tsp dried chilli flakes, to taste
  • 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 8 tbsp runny honey
  • 300ml soy sauce
  • 4-5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 600ml Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry
  • 10 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 800ml chicken stock
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
  2. Season the ribs with salt and pepper, pushing the seasoning into the meat. Heat a roasting tray on the hob with a little olive oil and brown the ribs for 5-10 minutes until they are coloured on all sides.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise and honey and continue to cook over the heat for 2 minutes until the honey begins to caramelise. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar and Shaoxing wine and bring to the boil, simmering for 1 minute. Taste and adjust the flavours, adding a little extra vinegar if necessary. Add the spring onions and stock and bring to the boil. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 1 hour until tender, turning the ribs halfway through the cooking time.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and place back on the hob. Heat the marinade and reduce for 8-10 minutes until the sauce is thick and syrupy. Turn the ribs in the sauce to coat them well, and then serve.
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