There are two fundamental reasons why pork spare ribs taste so great.
First, their relatively high fat content bastes and flavours the meat as it braais, and secondly, the high bone-to-meat ratio means that the bones impart further flavour to the meat as they heat up during the braai.
Here we add a third reason with a honey and mustard sauce. There are many inferior off-the-shelf commercial sauces in the world which are so-called ‘honey and mustard’ in flavour, but this sauce actually consists of honey and mustard. A marinade or sauce that contains as much actual sugar as this one with 50% honey will burn easily, so there are two things that can go wrong when you braai the spare ribs. Either you remove them from the fire when you think the marinade is starting to burn, but then find the insides are still raw.
Alternatively you braai them until the inside is done, but by that stage the marinade is burnt.There is a very easy way to get around these two problems, which is to braai first and add the marinade later. Don’t marinate or baste the ribs, just braai them and remove them from the fire about 5 minutes before they are ready. Generously smother them in the sauce, then return them to the fire and complete the braai. The ribs will be properly cooked inside and your sauce will be nicely glazed with caramelised spots without being burnt.
- 1.5 kg pork spare ribs
- ½ cup honey
- 2 tots Maille Dijon mustard
- 2 tots Maille French-style wholegrain mustard
- 1 tot olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients (except for the ribs) together in a bowl. If you want to simplify matters and just want to use one type of mustard, go ahead and just double its quantity.
- Braai the whole rack of spare ribs over medium heat, turning regularly, for 30minutes until almost done.
- Remove the ribs from the fire and place on a cutting board. Cut into single riblets.
- Toss the ribs into the sauce bowl and coat them well. Use a spoon to toss them or shake the bowl around. Leave for a few minutes to allow the exposed, meaty parts of the ribs to bond with and absorb the sauce.
- Braai the now generously basted ribs for between 2 and 10 minutes until all the sauce is warm and glazed. If during the cutting you saw that the ribs were basically done and will start to dry out, just braai them for a minute or so until the sauce is glazed, but if you saw they still had a way to go, make it closer to 10 minutes or even longer. Also face the two recently cut sides of each rib coal-side down.
AND…I prefer to braai the ribs whole and only cut them before the basting. I feel those exposed parts of meat, where they were cut from each other, then soak up the marinade a little bit better as they’re not sealed. Honey adds a unique flavour to this recipe but you could substitute it with golden syrup and call this ‘Spare ribs with a golden mustard sauce’
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