Food & Drink

James St Recipes: Get ready for the barbecue season with Chilli Sticky Ribs and Slow Braised Beans with Ham Hock

Chilli sticky ribs
Chilli sticky ribs

As the barbecue season approaches, I am ready to embrace all the delicious BBQ food on offer. Living in Northern Ireland, the weather is unpredictable, therefore, this is the perfect recipe as you can enjoy these ribs indoors or cook them in your oven too.

The marinade is super easy to make, and you will probably already have most of the ingredients in the house – a great way to use up what you already have. The marinade is really nice, and can you imagine how tender and flavoursome the ribs will be after being baked in the oven.

The second recipe I am sharing this week is braised beans and ham hock. This delicious dish is a great mid-week wonder to serve to the family. 

Braised beans and ham hock is not only budget-friendly but also perfect for a mid-week dinner. This dish is packed with flavour and nutrients, and it’s a great way to use up any leftover ham hock or beans you have in your pantry. I love how easy this recipe is to make – and it is super quick to whip up.

Whether you are hosting a barbecue or looking for a comforting mid-week meal, these recipes will certainly impress your guests and family.

Would you like to take your cooking skills to the next level? Check out our cookery classes at The Waterman House Cookery School. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn new culinary techniques or have a fun night out with friends. More at


(Serves 4)

2 pork rib racks, 800g 

2 tsp of all spice

4 tbsp of chilli 

4 tsp of caster sugar

2 tsp of fennel seeds

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp freshly grated ginger


To begin, preheat the oven to 200°C. Next, place your ribs onto a roasting tray and rub them with oil, salt and pepper. 

Cover in tinfoil and roast for three hours. Next, place the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and stir together. 

Once the ribs have been cooked for 2 hours 40 minutes, remove from the oven and brush over the mixture from the bowl. 

Return the ribs back to the oven for 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove the ribs from the oven and brush the underside of the ribs and pop them back in for a final 10 minutes. 

Lastly, remove the ribs from the oven and serve.


(Serves 6-8)

500g dried Haricot beans, soaked overnight

1/2 tsp of fennel seeds

2kg ham hock 

1 red pepper

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, 

finely grated

2 tins of chopped tomatoes 

(400g tins) 

1 ½ tsp of dried chili flakes

1 ½ tsp smoked paprika

500g vegetable stock

100ml Worcester sauce

2 bay leaves

1 star anise 

1 ½ tsp English mustard powder

2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

Salt and pepper 


Firstly, to prepare the beans, place them in a bowl and cover with water, ensuring that the beans are at least two inches under water. Once soaked overnight, rinse and discard of the water. Place the ham hock into a large saucepan of water with the fennel seeds, and let it gently simmer. Once the ham hock has cooked for one hour, add in the beans and cook for a further 45 minutes. Remove from heat and separate the beans from the ham hock, leaving them to one side. 

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Place the pepper on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes in the oven, then, turn it over and roast for a further 15 minutes until black. Remove the roasted pepper from the oven and make it into a ball shape, covering it in clingfilm. 

Slow Braised Beans
Slow Braised Beans

Set the pepper aside until cool and once cooled, remove the skin, de-seed and dice the flesh. Next, reduce the oven heat to 170°C. Then, heat the oil in an oven-proof casserole dish and place on the hob on a medium heat. Next, add the onion and sweat down until soft before.

Add the garlic to the dish and continue to cook for a further minute. Once cooked, turn off the hob. Next, add in the cooked beans, tomatoes, peppers, chilies, paprika, vegetable stock, Worcester sauce, bay leaf, star anise and the rest of the ingredients. Place the ham hock in the centre of the dish and cook with the lid on for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Once cooked, the ham hock will fall off the bone. It may be easier to remove the ham hock, then shred it separately and serve on top of the beans.