Pork Ribs with A Sauce of Pomegranate Molasses

Back in Andalucía, the pig is King, and all things porky  were very much back on the menu when we were there recently.

Ribs looked particularly good at the butcher’s and they sell half racks – a length of ribs but cut in half lengthwise, so they become short ribs.

Confession time – our favourite way to eat ribs is rubbed with some coarse sea salt and simply cooked on the barbecue. However, despite being sunny, there was a Big Wind Up the Mountain so a barbecue was out. Time to switch on the oven and cook them another way.

Ribs with Pomegranate Molasses (2)

Amongst the ingredients that came back with us from England was a bottle of Pomegranate Molasses, used a lot in Ottolenghi’s recipes and a big feature in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. This dish is both boiled then oven cooked, but if you’re in a hurry you could skip the first step and simply oven cook the ribs. Boiling them first does make them very tender and juicy and you also end up with a wonderful stock which you can use later for soup…the choice is yours.

For 2 people

  • About 800g ribs

For the first stage (optional)

  • The juice of an orange, 2 cloves of peeled garlic, 2 bay leaves, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper and enough water to cover the ribs in a saucepan

For the Sauce

  • 8 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 8 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
  • 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • half a teaspoon of hot pimentón or chilli powder
  • 4 tablespoons of molasses (or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce

If you are going to boil the ribs first, put all the ingredients in a pot, bring to the boil and then simmer for about an hour. Remove the ribs from the stock and when they are cool enough to handle (or you can prepare them ahead to this stage) move on to the next stage.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour over the ribs. I put them into an ovenproof dish lined with plenty of foil. Make sure the ribs are well coated in the sauce, wrap them in the foil to form a tent and bake in a medium oven for about an hour and a half.

Serve with plenty of napkins to clean those sticky fingers and faces and enjoy!

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