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Sweet & sour ribs with pomegranate salsa

Sweet & sour ribs with pomegranate salsa

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook: -
    • Plus marinating and standing
  • Easy
  • Serves 4 - 6

Pork spare ribs are great served in a sticky fruit glaze with spices and ginger, and a tangy sauce on the side

  • Freezable (Freeze ribs only)
Nutrition: per serving (4)


  • 2kg pork spare rib
  • 1l carton pomegranate juice
  • flatbreads or rice , to serve (optional)

For the sauce

  • 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

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 a small bunch coriander , roughly chopped


  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 2

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

  • STEP 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.

  • STEP 4

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

  • STEP 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.


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.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2013

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A star rating of 4 out of 5.4 ratings

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