Marmite Pork Ribs

Friday, 20 May 2011

I'd intended to buy a jar of Marmite to make Marmite Pork Ribs only after I finished some of the sauces and whatnots (which were threatening to spill out of the kitchen into the living room). But my self-discipline crumbled when I saw what a great sense of humour the makers of Marmite have, as the commercial shows.

Love it or hate it? I'd never had Marmite before, and I couldn't wait to find out.
dldl dldld dldl ldl dldld
I wandered up and down the aisles in the supermart looking for Marmite. I knew it had to be there somewhere because I had phoned earlier and made sure the supermart had stocks. It wasn't with the jams and spreads, nor sauces and condiments. Hmm, yeast extract . . . . Yeast? Baking products? Nope, not there either. Where else could it be? You'd never had guessed! Marmite, together with its best friend, Bovril, was sitting next to the cough syrups, plasters and ENO. Why? God only knows!

The best description of Marmite I've come across is from Reginald Hunter who said, during a Stephen Fry show, 'Marmite tastes like there's a naked man with hairy legs in your kitchen, and every now and again you take a plate with some toast, and walk onto his butt and go “Ok friend, do what you do best!”'

Was there any truth in what Reginald Hunter says? Umm . . . I wouldn't know. I've never had anything of what he described in my kitchen.

Does Marmite taste like, as a Steve Johnson article put it, 'faecal-brown . . . sludge of processed fungal industrial waste'? Hmm, not sure what those taste like either.

After reading the nasty insults about Marmite, I was a bit apprehensive about eating it, to be honest. I dipped the tip of a chopstick into the jar, and took a little lick of the black, gooey stuff, neat. Hmm . . . . It was rather like reduced fish sauce, which I'd made once by mistake when trying a Thai recipe. Both tasted kinda burnt and bitter, and were extremely salty – pretty nasty, in other words.

Marmite neat wasn't for me. Next, I tried the most popular way of enjoying Marmite: a wee bit of the yeast extract spread t-h-i-n-l-y on generously buttered toast. I took a small bite and . . . . Hey, it's not bad! The salt in the yeast extract went well with the butter, I thought. In fact, spaghetti tossed with Marmite and butter is delicious, if you believe the Domestic Goddess. It's better than bak chor mee, she (sort of) says in the video here.

The grand finale and highlight of my tasting session was pork with Marmite. The thick, meaty prime ribs braised with Marmite, sugar, honey, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce could be summed up in one alphabet: Mmmmm . . . . The sugar and honey masked the burnt, bitter taste of Marmite, leaving a sweet and savory sauce that was a perfect fit with tender, juicy ribs falling off the bone. If everyone ate Marmite this way, I'm sure there wouldn't be any Marmite hate groups!

And now, I'm ready for the gourmet version:
Marmite XO, anyone? . . . . lit tl lk dlkdl dlkdl dlkd dldkl lkdj dldk l

(Recipe for 4 persons)

500 g pork ribs chopped 3-4 cm long, wash and drain
2 tbsp Marmite
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp honey

Put all ingredients in a pot, with ribs in a single layer if possible. Add enough water to almost cover ribs. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently till meat is just tender, about 1 hour, topping up with more water if necessary so that sauce covers at least half of ribs all the time. Next, increase heat to medium-low, leave pot uncovered, and reduce sauce till sticky, stirring from time to time to ensure even heating and prevent the sides from burning. This should take 15-20 minutes depending on the amount of liquid.

When sauce is just short of ready, skim and discard excess oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Turn off heat. Give ribs a few last turns to coat evenly with thickened sauce. Plate and serve.

1 comment:

Blur Ting said...

Thanks for helping me use up the jar that has been lying in my pantry for ages.

I suppose it'll work with chicken too?

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