Smokey Pork Ribs

ATW with Manu - Ribs

Smokey Pork Ribs

In episode 6 of “Around the World with Manu” I made proper soul food ribs with Sam of Sam’s Soul Food Restaurant and Bar in The Bronx, and I seriously think they are the best ribs I’ve ever eaten.

Sam showed me how he makes his triple cooked smokey pork ribs — sticky, sweet, smokey and melting off the bone — and while wouldn’t tell me all the ingredients in his special marinade I think my version is pretty close!

Serves 4


  • 2 kg meaty, fatty pork ribs, sinew removed (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 3 tsp table salt
  • ½ tsp crushed oregano leaves
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chicken seasoning

For the marinade

  • 1 litre pork or chicken stock
  • 100 g rendered pork or duck fat
  • 1 Tbsp table salt
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 100 g crushed tinned tomatoes

For the sauce

  • Reserved pan juices
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 brown onion, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 serrano chilli, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smokey paprika
  • 100 ml tomato sauce
  • 60 ml orange juice
  • 125 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 40 g worcestershire sauce
  • 60 g molasses, honey or golden syrup
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

For the sweet yam mash

  • 600 g orange sweet potato or yams, peeled
  • 100 g salted butter
  • 60 ml maple syrup
  • A few sprigs of parsley, to garnish


  1. Place ribs in a large roasting pan. Combine table salt, oregano, garlic powder and chicken seasoning in a small bowl and sprinkle over both sides of the ribs.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Pour over ribs and refrigerate for 8 hours, or preferably overnight. Remove ribs from the fridge an hour or so before you are going to cook them so they can come to room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 150°C. Cover ribs with a sheet of baking paper and seal pan with foil. Bake for 3 hours or until tender but still not quite falling apart — you want to keep them together to chargrill.
  4. After 3 hours remove pan from the oven and drain the cooking juices into a large saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 7 – 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by a third.
  5. Add the sauce ingredients (oil through brown sugar), bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 12 – 15 minutes or until the sauce is thick and easily coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
  6. Heat a large chargrill or BBQ over a very high heat. Brush the ribs with a thin layer of sauce and grill on both sides for 4 – 5 minutes or until nicely caramelised. This step will impart a delicious smoked flavour to your ribs but if you choose to skip it you may.
  7. Return ribs to the roasting pan and generously brush over remaining marinade. Return to the oven, uncovered, to cook for a further hour or until very tender and falling off the bone.
  8. To make the sweet yam mash, place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until very tender. Drain through a colander and return to the saucepan. Mash well then add the butter and maple syrup and whip with a wooden spoon until butter is melted and mash is creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. To serve, cut ribs into pieces and place onto warm serving plates with spoonfuls of sweet yam mash and a little bit of parsley to garnish.

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