Monthly Archives: July 2014



I have at late tried two lots of spare ribs, using Heston’s simple, brine first recipe.
While the first method I used to cook ribs was good, I think the ingredients were wrong. Too much Soy sauce flavour, I think.
So my next rib mix was an experiment, using my own recipe, interesting but not quite right. I tried to use Jack Daniels in the mix. Maple tomato puree and soy. I have a bottle of JD, I don’t drink alcohol, it needs using. I have used it in Eat like a Girls Truffle recipe, very good call. But it’s a dirty hit and difficult to fit it in other recipes. Ideas welcome.
A good Scottish Whisky is easier to work with. Mussels (Jamie Oliver) Venison/Stag (my own sauce) Cranachan all have it as an ingredient.
Maple Syrup is a great addition. Don’t buy the brand I bought from the supermarket (Buckwood). You may find this difficult as Supermarkets put a rubbish brand next to their own brand. The end results being you buy their own brand. Not too much of a problem in Waitrose as there in house can often be good quality. Some of the other supermarkets its bad news. I will let you know when I find a good quality one.
Sugar is cheap and underrated; you may find some molasses or brown sugar in the cupboard. White sugar is worth using, before you go unnecessarily spending money.
Tomato puree is another classic marinade ingredient. Honey Ginger soy Garlic, Asian flavours work well. Americans love their ribs so Tex Mex is popular. There are lots of ideas on the net. Using what you have in house/can afford/ is in season/ or good quality and price, is the best way to go. You might want to adapt a recipe to your ingredients.
Here is a link to the recipe I used which was to strong in soy flavour. I used Dark soy perhaps light would have worked better. Generally though light is for cooking Dark is for marinades.
Here is another , more simpler, easy one.

Brine your ribs first as bellow, cook as bellow. Experiment with marinades.

For the brine
2 litres water
200g salt
2 hits of Pork Rack Of Loin Ribs
1. For the brine: heat 1 litre of water in a large pan and bring to the boil. Add the salt and whisk until fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour in 1 litre of cold water. Allow to cool completely.
2. Pour this brine into a large plastic container, add the ribs and cover with the lid. Place the ribs in the fridge for 1 hour.
3. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and place in a bowl. Drain the brined ribs and transfer to the marinade, making sure they are well coated in the marinade. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
4. Transfer the ribs into a wide shallow pan with the marinade and add stock. I used a stock cube to make the stock 100g roughly 100ml. Over a medium heat, allow this to come to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Remove the ribs and bring the marinade to the boil and reduce to a thick sauce consistency.
5. Before serving, place the ribs on a hot barbecue for 5-10 minutes, brush regularly with the thickened marinade (I put them in a moderate to hot oven).Serve the ribs topped with the sauce.
Good luck, If you can’t afford good ribs buy some cheap ones. Most supermarkets do them. The marinade will give great results despite the quality of meat being not amazing. That said ribs should be a cheap cut of meat.

Second try, using butchers ribs.

Second try, using butchers ribs.

First try, basic ribs from Waitrose. nice colour, very sticky.

First try, basic ribs from Waitrose. nice colour, very sticky.

Fish Balti

Fish Balti ,simple salad, Elderflower cordial.

Fish Balti ,simple salad, Elderflower cordial.

I have been making fish curries recently. I have even used a shop bought paste made by Pataks , not something I usually do. I recommend Patak brand if you choose the same route. This one used Pollack, I have used ling( I browned the ling first as it holds firm shape).Starting with a base of onion garlic or onion garlic ginger, I had no ginger. Then adding tinned coconut milk, what a result. I now have an off cut bag in the freezer for fish curry. The other thing I did was to marinade the fish in ¼ – ½ a lime and pinch of salt, for half an hour to 1 hour,then using something clean to pat it dry(tea towel kitchen paper). This is something I saw Atul Kochhar doing on T.V. It makes a great difference. Don’t forget to taste your curry as you may or may not need to use salt. Coriander at the end if you have any , I did not.
This would be great using prawns or frozen fish (not everyone gets fresh fish like I do). You could add peas or green beans to this. A simple salad is needed for the side(no dressing) or just a flat bread or plain rice. I have Elderflowercordial in the picture as well. I guess lemonade (real deal) is popular in India. I must research this.
Which paste so many to choose, I used Balti. But feel free to experiment.