Thursday 19 April 2018

Donal Skehan's sweet and sticky ribs

Sticky BBQ ribs
Sticky BBQ ribs

Fire up the grill and take to the fresh air with some of Donal’s finger-licking spare ribs

Sticky BBQ  Spare Ribs

I don't know about you, but my absolute favourite thing about summer barbecues is the ribs. Sweet and sticky tender meat, slow roasted and then finished off over hot coals is my idea of heaven. These ribs are covered in my go-to barbecue sauce which I make again and again throughout the summer.

Serves 6

You will need

For the ribs:

3kg pork baby back ribs

2 onions, peeled and sliced in half

1 bulb of garlic, unpeeled and top sliced off

Pinch of sea salt

For the barbecue sauce:

60g demerara sugar

4 tbsp dark soy sauce

4 tbsp tomato ketchup

4 tbsp honey

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp dried English mustard

2 tsp Tabasco sauce


Cut the strips of ribs into manageable pieces with about 3-4 ribs to each piece and place in a large saucepan with the onions, garlic, a generous pinch of salt and enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1-1ƒ hours or until the meat is tender.

Preheat the oven to 200°C or light the barbecue. Whisk all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce together in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes until you have a thick sauce.

Remove the ribs from the pan and discard the water, onion and garlic. Place the ribs in a large baking dish or roasting tin and coat with half the barbecue sauce. Place in the oven to cook for 20 minutes or place on the barbecue for 5 minutes on each side. Serve with the rest of the barbecue sauce and a lot of paper napkins!

BBQ Corn

One of my all-time favourite barbecue sides is this easy grilled corn. When you’re cooking your meat, place a few ears of corn around the edge and grill for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, slather with homemade herb butter with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. If you can get your hands on fresh corn with the husks still on, it’s well worth the effort.

Thirst quencher

Keeping everybody fed and watered at a barbecue can be a nightmare, so I was delighted when I picked up a handy Kilner jar drinks dispenser. It holds five litres of your favourite summer drinks and looks fantastic filled with ice and citrus slices. The best bit… your guests can serve themselves and you can enjoy the party.



A man who knows a lot about barbecues is Mr Christian Stevenson, aka DJ BBQ. Christian is part of Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube channel and is well known for his grilling talents. All of his nuggets of barbecue gold have been gathered up by FoodTube and published in a handy little book along with his (and Jamie’s) favourite barbecue recipes, so it’s well worth picking up. This will become your barbecue bible!

See: Jamie’s FoodTube presents The BBQ Book,

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