How to make whisky sticky ribs

By: Nikki and Jordan Shearer

Masterchef NZ runners up Nikki and Jordan Shearer's latest recipe is for whisky sticky ribs.

Whisky -ribs

Serves 4-6

This is inspired by the Southern style of cooking ribs… sweet, spicy and tender with a hint of smoke. Replace the whisky with bourbon depending on what you have on hand, or leave out altogether if the budget doesn’t allow for you to indulge. Try and source the St Louis cut rather than the back ribs which are more curved in shape.

This is our go-to recipe when we have the whanau coming over for cards… make sure you have plenty of paper towels on hand as it tends to get messy!

General ingredients

  • 3 large onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced thickly
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 8-10 rashes streaky bacon
  • 3 large pork sparerib racks

Glaze ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp american mustard
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp whisky
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (hot chilli sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp tabasco sauce
  • 3 Tbsp smoky BBQ sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 150˚C.
  2. In a large flat baking dish place the onions, bay leaves and peppercorns to cover the bottom of the tray.
  3. Lay the ribs on top in a single layer.
  4. Top ribs with strips of the streaky bacon.
  5. Pour in water to come up to the the top of the ribs.
  6. Completely seal the tray with tinfoil ensuring that no steam can escape.
  7. Cook for 3 hours.
  8. When cool enough to handle remove the ribs from the broth and set aside.
  9. In a small saucepan combine the glaze ingredients and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  10. Increase oven temperature to 190˚C.
  11. Cut the ribs into single portions. If the bacon has stuck to the ribs don’t remove, it just adds to the flavour.
  12. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and lay the ribs in a single layer.
  13. With a pastry brush cover the ribs on all sides with the glaze.
  14. Bake at 190˚C for 40-45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.

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