The Stag’s Root Beer Pork Ribs with Shaved Fennel Salad

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The Stag in Hampstead, NW3 is a great boozer, with great beers, great staff, great food  and the best ribs I’ve ever eaten in a pub – so I attempted to re-create them at home (with thanks to their super-chef Asher).

The ingredients for the ribs couldn’t be simpler: a couple of sheets of pork ribs, a can of root beer, a tablespoon each of dried rosemary and thyme. And that’s it.

The shaved fennel salad was a bit more complicated, but not to an off-putting degree.

I’m sure The Stag features a lot more ingredients than I’ve featured here but my results were certainly good enough for a home attempt, if not for one of north London’s premier gastroboozers.

Serves 4

1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
2 sheets of pork ribs, cut into individual ribs 1 can of root beer (or sarsaparilla) 1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried thyme

For the salad

One head of fennel, shaved with a potato peeler
A couple of handfuls of salad leaves (I used a combo of spinach, rocket, baby beetroot and watercress leaves)
1 tbsp sliced jalapeno chilli peppers (from a jar)
1 tsp whole cumin seeds, toasted
1 tsp black onion seeds, toasted 1 tsp black mustard seeds, toasted

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1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the ribs over a gentle heat, approx. 5 mins. Transfer the ribs, root beer, rosemary and thyme to a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours, until the meat is so tender it can be plucked off the bone with no effort. If you don’t have a slow cooker, cook in a low oven at 160C/Gas 2 for 2-3 hours.

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2. Using tongs, carefully remove the ribs from the stock and transfer to a plate.

3. Transfer the stock to a pan and reduce by three-quarters to produce a sticky glaze.

4. When you’re ready to eat, pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Put the ribs on a rack or roasting tray and using a pastry brush, brush the reduced glaze over each individual rib. Put in the oven for 15 mins.

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5. Meanwhile, make the salad by combining the shaved fennel, salad leaves, chillies, and toasted spices together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

6. Remove the ribs from the oven and serve piled on top of the fennel salad. Drizzle over any leftover glaze.

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2 Comments

Filed under Pork, Recipe Shed, Slow Cooker

2 Responses to The Stag’s Root Beer Pork Ribs with Shaved Fennel Salad

  1. I do love a good rack of ribs. Blimey that sounds wrong! I tend to like them spicy though and long, long, long cooked. I find if you don’t have a slow cooker, cooking them wrapped well in foil in the oven, then taking off the foil at the end works a treat.