Helen Graves’s backyard-style apricot-glazed pork ribs recipe

These are ‘backyard style’ in the sense that they’re simmered first, then finished on the grill. Yes, fully smoked ribs are wonderful, but this is such an easy method that I turn to it often. The ribs are sticky sweet from the apricot jam and the crushed spices add bold flavour right at the end of cooking. Finishing with toasted, crushed spices like this is one of my favourite tricks for outdoor cooking. Grilled food can take it.

apricot glazed pork ribs
Rob Billington

SERVES 2-4
SETUP Indirect cooking
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 1 hour 15 minutes

2 meaty racks of pork ribs
6 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
Dash of Tabasco
1 tbsp ketchup
1⁄2 tsp onion powder
1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Sea salt

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt it heavily, as if cooking pasta. Add the ribs and simmer for 1 hour, skimming off the scum every so often.
  2. Mix the jam, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, Tabasco, ketchup, onion powder and garlic powder in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stir and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  3. Once the ribs are done, remove them from the water and allow to steam dry while you prepare a barbecue for indirect cooking over medium heat, with the coals banked to one side.
  4. Lightly toast the coriander and fennel seeds and chilli in a dry frying pan, moving them around so they don’t burn. Lightly crush in a pestle and mortar, and set aside.
  5. Place the ribs on the opposite side of the grill to the coals and brush them with the apricot glaze. Continue brushing and glazing, turning the ribs every so often, for 10-15 minutes, until shiny and caramelised in places. H Slice the ribs and top with the crushed spice mixture.

TO COOK INDOORS Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Once the ribs are cooked, place on a baking tray, brush with the glaze and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Glaze again and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Buy the book

live fireOur recipes are taken from Live Fire: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions Old and New by Helen Graves (Hardie Grant, £26). To order a copy for £22.10 with free p&p until 19 May, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.