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Ainsley Harriott’s Tamarind, Treacle and Rum-Glazed Ribs

These tender, succulent baby back ribs are marinated in a mixture of tamarind, treacle, and rum for an addictively sweet-and-sour flavour.

From the book


Tender baby back ribs that fall off the bone… there’s nothing better. Basting keeps them moist and succulent and the tamarind delivers that gorgeous sweet-and-sour taste. These glazed ribs are great served with my Spiced Buttered Corn-on-the-Cob, a summer favourite in my house.

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6 tbsp black treacle
5 tbsp tamarind paste
250ml dark rum
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 red chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp sea salt
2 x 650–700g baby back pork rib racks
For the Spiced Buttered Corn-on-the-Cob:
150g butter, softened
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 corn cobs, in their husks


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the black treacle, tamarind paste, rum, garlic, chillies, chilli powder, black mustard seeds, pepper and salt.

Place the ribs in a deep roasting tray and pour over the marinade. Roll the ribs around in the marinade to ensure they are well covered, then cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

Remove the ribs from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature.

Remove the clingfilm, re-cover the roasting tray with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

To make the Spiced Buttered Corn-on-the-Cob, mix together the butter, paprika, allspice, chilli flakes, garlic, salt and pepper.

Take the corn cobs and carefully peel back the husks, but do not completely remove. Remove any corn silk (this is the yellow stringy part of the corn around the husks). Liberally spread the smoky, spiced butter all over the corn, then roll back the husks to cover and tightly wrap each one in foil.

Pop the ribs into the hot oven. After 30 minutes remove the foil from the tray and spoon over the juices from the bottom of the tray to baste the ribs. Return the ribs to the oven and repeat this process once or twice more while cooking for a further 45 minutes until the ribs are well-glazed, sticky and tender – the meat should readily ease away from the bone. Let rest for 10–12 minutes before serving.

Place the cobs on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 25–30 minutes. Alternatively, place them straight onto a barbecue and grill for 25–30 minutes, turning from time to time.

To serve, unwrap the corn cobs, discarding the foil. The husks will come away easily, revealing the ready-to-eat corn. Serve the ribs with the corn alongside. Get licking those fingers.


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From the book: Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen: Delicious feelgood cooking from the sunshine islands

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