2 kg pork spare ribs
1 litre carton pomegranate juice
flatbread or rice, to serve (optional)
FOR THE SAUCE
10 tbsp pomegranate molasses (store-bought or see recipe, below)
8 tbsp soft brown sugar
8 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp coriander seeds
FOR THE SALSA
1 red onion, finely chopped
seeds from 2 pomegranates, or about 2 tubs pomegranate seeds
1 red chilli, finely chopped
juice 2 limes
½ small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
FOR THE HOMEMADE POMEGRANATE MOLASSES
800 ml pomegranate juice
juice of 1½ lemons
5 Tbsp caster or granulated sugar
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan. Snugly fit the ribs into a roasting tin. Pour over the pomegranate juice and enough water (if needed) to cover the ribs, then cover tightly with foil. Roast for 2-3 hrs, turning halfway through, until the ribs are really tender, but not falling apart.
- Put all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Gently heat, then bubble for about 2 mins, stirring. Set aside.
- When the ribs are done, tip away the liquid and coat all over with the sticky sauce. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hr, or better still up to 24 hrs. Can be frozen at this stage.
- To make the salsa, mix together all the ingredients and chill until ready to serve.
- About 30 mins before baking, take the ribs out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake for 20-30 mins, turning occasionally and basting often with the sauce, until sticky, hot and crisping on the outside. Serve with the salsa and flatbreads or rice, if you like.
- Put the pomegranate juice in a wide pan with lemon juice and sugar. Boil down to about 175ml syrup (which should be enough for the ribs). Keep a close eye on it towards the end, as it will thicken quickly, and burns easily.