Sweet and Sour Ribs Recipe for a Finger-Lickin’ Good Meal!

Ahoy there, my fellow food enthusiasts! Today, I’ve got a recipe that will make your taste buds do a jig. It’s the English Sweet and Sour Ribs Recipe, and let me tell you, it’s one of the best recipes out there that takes ribs to the next level.

This recipe is perfect for those who love the good ol’ pork ribs but want to add a new twist to it. The combination of sweet and sour flavors will make you forget that you’re even eating ribs. Trust me, this recipe has been passed down in the family for generations and has never failed to impress.

What makes this recipe unique is that it combines both Chinese and English flavors resulting in a one-of-a-kind taste that you won’t find anywhere else. The slow-smoked pork back ribs are drenched in a tangy sweet-sour sauce that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and let’s dive into this delicious English Sweet and Sour Ribs Recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

English Sweet and Sour Ribs
English Sweet and Sour Ribs

Folks, let me just tell you, this English Sweet and Sour Ribs Recipe is a real game-changer for pork ribs. Not only does it tickle your taste buds with an amazing combination of sweet and sour flavors, but it also makes the meat juicy and tender, falling off the bone with every bite.

What I love most about this recipe is how versatile it is. Whether you are hosting a backyard barbecue, family dinner or you’re simply craving some good ole pork ribs, this dish suits every occasion. It’s perfect for any meat lover out there who wants to enjoy a balance of flavors without getting too overwhelmed by just one.

And let’s not forget about the ingredients used in this recipe. From garlic, bay leaves to red wine vinegar and soy sauce, they all come together to create a flavor explosion like no other.

Plus, you don’t have to be a culinary genius to make this recipe! It’s straightforward and easy to follow, even for beginner cooks. So if you’re looking for something new and flavorful to add to your recipe collection, then try out this English Sweet and Sour Ribs Recipe – I guarantee it won’t disappoint!

Ingredient List

 Sweet and sour ribs so tender that they fall right off the bone.
Sweet and sour ribs so tender that they fall right off the bone.

Let’s talk about the “English Sweet and Sour Ribs ingredients“. This recipe calls for succulent pork ribs that are perfect for this dish. You have the option to use either baby back ribs, spareribs, or Peking spare ribs. Whichever you choose, I’m sure it’ll turn out marvellous. Apart from ribs, you will need several ingredients such as garlic, onions, and ginger for your aromatics, which will give your dish a delectable aroma. You will also need unbleached all-purpose flour to taste and seasoning salt to add some savoury flavour. For the sweet and sour sauce, you are going to need tangy red wine vinegar and savoury soy sauce. To give sweetness to the sauce, you will require dark brown sugar or rock sugar and some tangy ketchup along with soy sauce. Additionally, you will require bay leaves in your cooking process along with some hot water for cooking the pork ribs. A complete list of ingredients is given below:

  • 2-3 pounds of pork ribs
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2-3 cloves of minced ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of seasoning salt
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar or rock sugar
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves

The Recipe How-To

 A taste of English cuisine in every bite.
A taste of English cuisine in every bite.


Before we begin, we need to prepare our ingredients. We will need an English sweet and sour sauce, which requires the following:

  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of catsup
  • 3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A pinch of seasoning salt

Combine all of these ingredients in a bowl and let them mix for a while.

Next, we will need to prepare our special pork rib marinade by mixing together:

  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Coat our ribs with the marinade mixture.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or casserole over medium-high heat, heat up some vegetable oil.
  3. Add the pork ribs and cook until the pork is browned on all sides.
  4. Remove the meat from the pan.
  5. Add onions and cook until they turn golden.
  6. Pour your sweet and sour sauce mixture into the Dutch oven, along with some water and brown sugar to taste. Stir well.
  7. Add the ribs back to the pan, cover it tightly and put it in the oven.
  8. After about two hours, remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
  9. Place ribs in a serving dish or platter smothered with English sweet and sour sauce


  • For best results, let this recipe slow smoke for six hours on your favorite smoker.
  • Count on the spareribs marinating for at least two hours before cooking.
  • Use rock sugar instead of brown sugar for the best Chinese sweet and sour ribs.
  • For classic Shanghai style or Peking spare ribs, try substituting sour chicken with pork.

Your English sweet and sour ribs are ready to be enjoyed!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors that dance on your taste buds.
The perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors that dance on your taste buds.

Now, you know the secrets to make English Sweet and Sour Ribs. But what if the ingredient list doesn’t match with what you have in your pantry? Don’t worry, Mark’s got your back. Here are some substitutions and variations for this delicious pork ribs recipe.

Firstly, let’s talk about the pork ribs. If you can’t find spare ribs or baby back ribs, then peking or shanghai-style pork spareribs can be an alternative. They are cut in a different shape, but they have a similar texture and taste.

If you want to spice things up and add some heat to your sweet and sour ribs recipe, you can sprinkle some red pepper flakes or diced jalapenos while cooking the onions. It will give that extra kick and depth of flavor to the dish. Alternatively, if you don’t like spicy food, omit them entirely.

The sweet and sour sauce is what makes this dish so special. You can experiment with different kinds of vinegar to create a unique taste profile. Instead of red wine vinegar, try using rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Soy sauce can also help balance out the flavors in the dish.

Brown sugar is essential for its signature sweetness in this recipe, but if it’s not available, then rock sugar or honey could be substitutes for it.

For those who do not consume meat or wish to switch things up, sweet and sour chicken is another delectable alternative.

Overall, there’s nothing wrong with getting creative in the kitchen when making English Sweet and Sour Ribs. Feel free to add your own touch and try new ingredients to see how it affects the flavor profile of this already-tasty dish.

Serving and Pairing

 These ribs are so delicious they're worth getting messy for.
These ribs are so delicious they’re worth getting messy for.

Once your English sweet and sour ribs are ready to serve, it’s time to think about what to pair them with. Traditionally, this dish is served over a bed of steaming white rice, which helps to soak up all of the delicious sauce.

For an authentic British experience, you may also want to consider serving some classic sides such as mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables. The sweetness of the sauce pairs well with the earthiness of root vegetables like carrots and parsnips.

If you’re in the mood for something lighter, a simple green salad or coleslaw can help balance out the richness of the dish. The acidity in these sides can also provide a refreshing contrast to the tangy flavors in the sweet and sour sauce.

When it comes to drinks, a dark ale or rich red wine can complement the savory flavors in this pork ribs recipe. However, if you prefer something non-alcoholic, a glass of fruity iced tea or lemonade can hit the spot on a warm summer day.

Overall, English sweet and sour ribs are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether served for family dinner or at a casual summer barbecue, these ribs are sure to impress your guests with their tangy sweetness and fall-off-the-bone tenderness.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A mouthwatering dish that'll have you licking your fingers clean.
A mouthwatering dish that’ll have you licking your fingers clean.

Now, if you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to make mealtime more efficient. Luckily for us, this English Sweet and Sour Ribs Recipe is perfect for making ahead! You can cook the ribs up to two days in advance and store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them.

If you’re planning on reheating the ribs later, I recommend using your oven or stovetop. It’s best to avoid microwaving your ribs as it can result in a loss of texture and flavor. To reheat in the oven, preheat it to 350°F and place the ribs in a baking dish. Add a small amount of water or broth to prevent them from drying out and cover with foil. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

When it comes to storing your leftover sweet and sour ribs, again, an airtight container is key. You can store them in the fridge for up to four days, or freeze them for up to three months. However, I’ll warn you – they may not last that long as they’re so delicious!

One great thing about this recipe is that you can easily adjust it to serve a smaller or larger crowd. Just be sure to keep the ratio of ingredients consistent so you don’t end up with too much or too little sauce.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try! Not only will you have a delicious meal on your hands, but you’ll also be able to streamline your dinner routine with some make-ahead and reheating tips.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate comfort food that'll warm your soul on a cold day.
The ultimate comfort food that’ll warm your soul on a cold day.

Now that you have all the ingredients ready and know how to prepare your English sweet and sour pork ribs, let’s talk about some tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time.

Firstly, make sure to choose the right type of ribs for the recipe. Baby back ribs are a popular option, but spare ribs also work well. Make sure to remove as much fat as possible before cooking to avoid greasy ribs.

Seasoning is vital in this recipe, so make sure to use plenty of salt, pepper, and seasoning salt. Don’t shy away from adding garlic and onion powder or fresh garlic and onions for an extra layer of flavor.

When coating your ribs with flour, don’t forget to shake off any excess flour before frying them. This will prevent clumping and ensure a crispier coating.

One essential component of the sweet and sour sauce is brown sugar. For best results, use dark brown sugar as it provides a richer flavor. Don’t forget to dissolve the sugar completely in hot water before adding it to the sauce.

Bay leaves are a fantastic way to add depth of flavor to this dish. Remember to remove them before serving, as they are not meant to be eaten.

Cooking time is crucial when it comes to ribs. If you’re using baby back ribs, it’ll take around 30-35 minutes on medium heat, while spare ribs will take around 1-1 1/2 hours on low heat. Make sure not to overcook them as they might become dry instead of being tender.

Lastly, be patient when simmering your sweet and sour sauce; this will allow all the flavors to marry correctly. Continue stirring occasionally until it reaches your desired thickness.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to prepare delicious English sweet and sour pork ribs that will rival any restaurant’s version!

Bottom Line

And there you have it, folks – the perfect recipe for English Sweet and Sour Ribs. With a tangy kick from the red wine vinegar, the sweetness from sugar, and the savory flavor of pork ribs, this dish is sure to satisfy your taste buds. The combination of flavors will leave you wanting more long after the meal is over.

But what truly sets this dish apart is its versatility. You can easily substitute the pork for chicken or beef if you prefer. And with variations like Shanghai-style or Peking spare ribs, you can change up the flavor profile while keeping the basic recipe intact.

So I implore you to give this recipe a try! It’s simple to make, delicious to eat, and certain to impress your dinner guests. Whether you’re looking for a classic British dish or trying something new, this sweet and sour rib recipe should definitely make it onto your culinary bucket list.

Thank you for reading and happy cooking!

English Sweet and Sour Ribs

English Sweet and Sour Ribs Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword < 4 Hours, European, Meat, Oven, Weeknight
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Calories 1447.2kcal


  • 3 lbs beef short ribs (Short ribs should be meaty and cut in the English cut.)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 cups onions, Sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 8 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup catsup
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, Minced
  • 2 large bay leaves


  • Trim excess fat from short ribs.
  • Combine flour, seasoned salt and pepper; dredge shrot ribs.
  • Brown ribs in oil on all sides in Dutch oven.
  • Remove meat from pan.
  • Add onions and cook until golden brown.
  • Place ribs on top of onions.
  • Combine water, brown sugar, catsup, vinegar, garlic and bay leaves; pour over ribs.
  • Cover and bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove bay leaves before serving.


Serving: 499g | Calories: 1447.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.7g | Protein: 42.3g | Fat: 120.7g | Saturated Fat: 45.8g | Cholesterol: 206.8mg | Sodium: 323.9mg | Fiber: 1.8g | Sugar: 27.8g

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