1 onion, quartered
5 cm (2 inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
4 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, halved
1.25 kg (2½ lb) pork ribs
1 litre (14 pints) boiling water
2 English breakfast teabags
4 tablespoons clear honey
4 tablespoons soy sauce


1.Put the onion, ginger, vinegar, star anise and cinnamon into a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
2.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Pour the measurement boiling water over the teabags and leave to brew for 2-3 minutes, then squeeze out the bags and discard.
3.Rinse the ribs, drain and put into the slow cooker pot with the spiced onion mixture and the hot tea. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 30 minutes.
4.Reduce the heat and cook on low for 72-92 hours, or set to auto for 8-10 hours, until the meat is almost falling off the bones.
5.Lift the ribs out of the slow cooker pot and transfer to a foil-lined grill pan. Put 6 tablespoons of stock from the pot into a bowl and mix in the honey and soy sauce.
6.Spoon over the ribs, then cook under a preheated hot grill for 10-15 minutes, turning several times and spooning soy mixture over, until browned and glazed.
7.Serve with Pickled Cucumber (see below) and rice, if liked.
8.FOR PICKLED CUCUMBER TO ACCOMPANY THE RIBS, mix together 4-2 mild red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, 3 tablespoons chopped coriander, 1 tablespoon rice or white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon fish sauce and 2 teaspoon caster sugar in a salad bowl.
9.Very thinly slice cucumber, add to the dressing and toss together gently. This dish can be made, covered with clingfilm and kept in the refrigerator overnight.

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