Burnt jam BBQ ribs

Burnt jam BBQ ribs

Adapted from Space Wildschwein’s BBQ Glazed Ribs

A few years ago I harvested the first cherry plums that the tree in my garden had produced since I’d moved in to the property. I love plum jam and it was very delicious.  However, one particular batch I was finishing one evening was just on the verge of setting when I took my eye off it.  I was probably a bit tired from all the jam making!  It caught on the bottom and started to burn.  Quickly I jarred it and hoped in the morning the smokiness would be less noticeable.  My wishful thinking was not rewarded unfortunately and the smokey jam was as bad in the morning.  No toast or cake would benefit from this preserve and I had 11 small jars of it!  Not to be deterred I approached the internet and started searching with gusto.  To my joy I found just the thing I was looking for.  A legitimate use for burnt jam.  Now I’m not suggesting you purposely burn a batch of jam just to make these ribs, but I’ve seriously considered it a few times!  The day we ate the last plate of ribs from that batch of burnt jam was a sad day.  However, you can replicate the flavour with a half teaspoon of liquid smoke in the mix or by finishing the ribs on an outdoor BBQ. My point though is that if you ever burn your jam a bit, don’t throw it away because it is good for something.  And I do love it when good comes out of a bad thing.

Burnt jam BBQ ribs

Prep time 8-24 hours Cook time 1¾-2 hours Makes 4 adult servings

Preheat your oven to 140ºC fan-assisted when you’re ready to cook the ribs

  • 240ml jam (I originally used slightly burnt cherry plum jam, but unburnt apricot jam, redcurrant jelly or marmalade, which I used this time, also works – 240ml is about one regular UK jar)
  • 120ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free Worcester sauce
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried onion powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼-½ tsp liquid smoke (optional – not needed if jam is burnt or you are finishing the ribs on an outdoor BBQ)
  • 1kg pork ribs

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a dish or tupperware, the right size to fit the ribs snugly.  Coat the ribs in the sauce as you tuck them into the dish and cover.  Marinate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.  Turn the ribs at least once if your marinade doesn’t completely cover them, but several times would be preferable.  If you’re using upperware you trust you can just give a good shake every few hours.  When you’re ready to cook the ribs, preheat the oven and place a long piece of foil on a large baking sheet.  Put the ribs onto the foil, create a little tray with sides of the foil folded up a bit, and pour over the remaining BBQ marinade.  Fold over the foil lid and make a neat, well sealed, parcel.  Cook the ribs in the oven for 1½ hours.  After this time is up, open the parcel and take off the ‘lid’ to assess the sauce.  Turn the oven up to 190ºC fan-assisted.  Depending on the jam you have used it may already be thick enough to paint onto the ribs.  If this is the case then use a silicon brush to baste the ribs with the sticky sauce and return to the hotter oven for 10 minutes turning once.  If the sauce is very runny then pour it off into a saucepan and reduce it until it is a thick consistency.  Now paint it on to the ribs and return to the hotter oven for 10 minutes turning once.  Alternatively, if you are having a BBQ the ribs can be finished over the charcoal.  Baste them with the sauce and pop on until they start to caramelize, which will only take a few minutes each side. Serve with accompaniments such as rice, sweetcorn, roasted sweet potatoes or salad and any leftover sauce on the side.


5 thoughts on “Burnt jam BBQ ribs

  1. What a great photo! I could really see how yummy the food was. Have to say, I was a little jealous that you already have Summer, when I`m stuck in what feels like a permanent Spring here!

    • Why thank you! You know I’m never sure about my photographs. The blazing sunshine probably helps! And those ribs were mighty tasty even if I do say so myself. And if it makes you feel any better, typical British weather is forecast for the next week. That’ll be rain then. I spent an hour this evening packing away the paddling pool, sunshade, outdoor games equipment, all back into the shed. Boo… 😦

      • Food photos are always tricky! I usually hate ribs, but sometimes sweet barbeque ribs taste just right when the sun is blazing, so I think your recipe will come in handy once August rolls around, or maybe even for The Fourth! This whole week has been grey and rainy, so I guess it makes me feel a little better. I actually love rain, I`m just getting a little tired of the temperature! Aww, I do dislike when the weather changes its mind so suddenly 😦

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