Well, the summer (ahem, excusing the miserable weather) of sport has begun with the start of the Euro 2012 football contest hosted by Poland and Ukraine. Eight matches have already taken place and tonight, the vodka is at the ready for Poland’s game against Russia. If you are watching any of the games and fancy making some Eastern European-style snacks, here’s my tasty recipe for Vodka and Honey Braised Ribs. In Poland, spare ribs are called Żeberka and it’s very common to have Żeberka w miodzie, or Ribs in Honey. My twist is to add a little shot of vodka (or two) to the mix. The method comes from my brother, who makes the best ribs in town. His trick is to simmer them slowly in some stock or water first before braising them in the oven. Try them, and then say ‘Nazdrowie!’ with a shot or two of the liquid ingredient! Oh, and don’t throw anything away; use the stock that you’ve simmered your ribs in to make a flavourful soup.
- 500 g baby back ribs or individual pork ribs
- 1.5 l chicken or beef stock
- 4 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoon vodka
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon tomato ketchup
- Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees celsius/375 degrees farenheit. Place the ribs in a sauce pan big enough to fit the rack or all the ribs. Make up 1.5 litres of hot chicken or beef stock and pour over the ribs. Place the pan with the ribs on the hob/stove top and very gently simmer (don't boil) the ribs in the stock for 30 minutes.
- While the ribs are simmering in the stock, make the honey vodka sauce by puttin the rest of the ingredients into a bowl or jug and whisking together well.
- After 30 minutes, carefully lift the ribs out of the stock and put them into a baking tray or tin. Pour the vodka honey sauce over the ribs and cover the tin with tin/aluminium foil. You can strain the stock and use it to make soup later.
- Place the covered ribs into the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes. After thirty minutes, take the ribs out of the oven and put the tin foil to one side. Carefully baste the ribs/spoon the sauce over the ribs. Put the ribs back in the oven, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes to get some colour. Keep an eye on the sauce to make sure it doesn't burn. If it looks to be burning, turn down the oven temperature.
- Take the ribs out of the oven. Cover the tin again with the tin foil and leave them to stand for at least 15 minutes before you serve. If you have used a rack of ribs, carefully cut or separate the ribs to serve.
Enjoy the football!
Which sporting event are you looking forward to the most this summer?