This has been on the menu since day one and has consistently been our most popular starter. It has also, at times, been the bane of our lives.
|25g fennel seeds (they will
deteriorate with age so make sure
they are fresh)
25g black peppercorns
5g cumin seeds
5g coriander seeds
1 onion, grated
5–6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
60ml vegetable oil
60ml pressed apple juice
1 green pepper, deseeded and diced
1 green chilli, deseeded and diced
60ml maple syrup
60ml smoked chipotle Tabasco
60g English mustard,
or 30g mustard powder mixed
with 2 tbsp water
60g smoked Maldon sea salt
60ml blackstrap molasses
185g apricot jam (we generally
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored
25g anchovies, finely chopped
1.5–2kg pork belly, with the ribs
- Dry-roast the spices in a heavy-based frying pan for about 5 minutes, until they turn colour. Tip them into a grinder and whiz until powdered.
- Cook the onion, garlic and spices in the vegetable oil over a low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the apple juice and cook until the juice has evaporated. Whiz in a blender with all the other ingredients except the apple and anchovies. Stir in the grated apple and chopped anchovies.
- Remove the skin from the pork belly and discard or use to make pork scratchings. Place the belly in a dish and using your hands massage the ribs with the spiced marinade, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 100°C/200°F/gas ¼. Place the ribs in a shallow roasting tray, cover with foil, and roast for 4–5 hours, until the meat is tender.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting the ribs into portions. In a heavy -based pan, reduce the remaining marinade and use it to baste the ribs liberally.
- Finish cooking the ribs on the barbecue or in a hot oven (220°C/425°F/gas 7) until thoroughly heated through, taking care not to let them burn. We like to serve our ribs with pickled red cabbage, but you could serve them with a slaw.