Preparation time: 3 hours + 24 hours marinade time
The trick here is to get the ribs nice and sticky so that the addictive sweet-sour flavour of the pomegranate molasses and tamarind penetrate the slow-cooked meat to give loads of flavour
Smear the ribs with the marinade ingredients mixed together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours (the longer the better).
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Line a roasting tray with a couple of layers of tin foil to avoid the cooking mixture burning on the tray.
Place the marinated ribs on the foil and cook for 30 minutes, basting as they are cooking.
For the stuffed onions, wrap the onions in foil, stand them on a baking tray and cook with the ribs for about I hour, or until they are fairly soft. Remove from the oven, take off the foil and leave to cool a little.
Turn the oven down to 160°C/Gas 3, cover the tray with foil and continue cooking and basting the ribs for another hour, then remove the foil lid and cook, basting regularly, for a further 30–45 minutes. Remove the ribs from the oven and keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile prepare the stuffing for the onions. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Season the pork with salt, pepper and ground cumin, add to the pan and fry over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring, until lightly coloured. Add 125ml water and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
Once the onions are cool enough to handle, chop about 1cm off the top of each, keeping the onions intact. Scoop out the centre of each onion with a spoon, leaving a couple of layers of flesh to hold them together. Reserve both the onion tops and the scooped flesh.
Finely chop the scooped onion flesh and mix it together with the pork, breadcrumbs and parsley. Season to taste. Spoon the filling into the onions and replace the tops. Place on a baking tray, brush with oil and bake for about 30 minutes, until the onions are lightly coloured and the filling is hot. You can keep these warm for about 30 minutes or serve straight away with the ribs.
This recipe is by Mark Hix and taken from Saturday Kitchen Suppers: Over 100 seasonal recipes for weekday suppers, family meals and dinner party show stoppers (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, hardback £20/eBook £10.99).
Cook some ribs without marinade so they have a plainer flavour then cut off pieces of pork meat and blend with breast or formula milk.
Let your toddler chew on a rib, or slice pieces of meat off and serve to him. If you're worried about the strong flavours, leave a few ribs unmarinated before cooking.
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