Sweet & sour ribs with pomegranate salsa

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only
Pork spare ribs are great served in a sticky fruit glaze with spices and ginger, and a tangy sauce on the side

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:3 hrs 30 mins
    Plus marinating and standing
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 656
  • fat 25g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 58g
  • sugars 58g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 38g
  • salt 1.6g


  • 2kg pork spare rib
  • 1l carton pomegranate juice
  • flatbreads or rice, to serve (optional)
  • 10 tbsp pomegranate molasses (shop bought or see our 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 seed
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • seeds from 2 pomegranates, or about 2 tubs pomegranate seeds
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • juice 2 limes
  • ½ a small bunch coriander, roughly chopped


Homemade pomegranate molasses
Put 800ml pomegranate juice in a wide pan with juice 1½ lemons and 5 tbsp caster or granulated 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.


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. 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.

  2. Put all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Gently heat, then bubble for about 2 mins, stirring. Set aside.

  3. 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.

  4. To make the salsa, mix together all the ingredients and chill until ready to serve.

  5. 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.

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