Spurred on by the awesome huckleberry glazed roast mutton, I made another glazed roast this week with apricot preserve glazed pork. The dish has sweetness, with a hint of sour. It was remarkably tasty, and something we’ll be trying again very soon.
Apricot Preserve and Maple Syrup Glazed Pork
Which Cut of Pork To Use
I needed to cook low and slow, to prevent burning the glaze, so I used pork breast ribs with a slight alteration to the standard 3-3-1 method. The glaze can be used for double cut pork chops, pork butt/shoulder or any other cut that can be cooked low and slow over a period of time.
I purchased the pork breast ribs from Turner and George (no commercial connection). They are a great butchers to deal with, and do mail order. You can also try your local butchers and ask if they can provide you with this specific cut.
A Big Green Egg (or similar) will get the most out of this dish as part of the cooking involves smoking. A standard oven can be used (without smoking), if doing this use a non-fan setting. In addition, you’ll need:
- Measuring jug
- Small saucepan
- Two small pots
- Roasting tray and rack
- Kitchen foil
- Pastry brush
- Hand-held water sprayer
For the pork
- 1kg pork breast ribs
- Black and red pepper
- 50ml cider vinegar
- 100ml water
- 1 orange smoking chunk (optional)
For the glaze and sauce
- 4 tbsp apricot preserve
- 4 tbsp apricot compote
- 2 tbsp sweet wine (see below)
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 2 tsp ground paprika
- Pinch of salt
For the sweet wine I used Brown Brothers Orange and Flora Muscat, it has a lovely balance of sweetness and fruit. A young Sauternes or Barsac would also work, but not a sweet fortified wine, e.g. a Rutherglen muscat, that would overpower the fruit flavours.
- Pre-heat the oven or Big Green Egg (indirect setup) to 125°C/250°F. If using an Egg, when the coals are glowing and the temperature is stable, toss on an orange smoking chunk and wait for the thin blue line of smoke.
- Remove any membrane from the base of the ribs (see hints and tips section below). Score the top with a sharp knife, sprinkle over some salt and pepper. Place the ribs on a roasting rack over a roasting tray. Put the tray into the oven or Egg, cook the ribs for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and warming over a low heat. Separate into two pots and leave to cool.
- Remove the roasting tray from the oven or Egg. Add 50ml cider vinegar and 100ml water to the hand-held water sprayer, then spray the ribs to keep they moist (don’t soak them). Then using a pastry brush, apply some sauce from one pot to the top of the ribs. Return the roasting tray to the oven or Egg and cook for a further hour.
- Remove the roasting tray from the oven or Egg. Apply another mist spray and layer of sauce (from the same pot) to the top of the ribs. Then place the ribs on a large piece of kitchen foil. Loosely wrap the ribs in foil, then place them back into the oven or Egg, cook for 3 hours.
- Remove the wrapped ribs from the oven or Egg. Carefully unwrap them, there will be liquid. Spray them once more, then apply sauce (from the same pot) to the top of the ribs. Return to the oven or Egg and cook for a final 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, re-heat the sauce from the second pot for a dipping/pouring sauce. It might need a little more cider vinegar adding to it.
- Slice the ribs, serve with coleslaw and other sides. Add the pouring sauce to the ribs.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- This video clip shows how to remove membrane from the ribs:
- Meat lifters are very handy for moving the ribs around.