• Nobody can ever resist the smoky taste of ribs, and these whisky and maple sticky pork ribs with sweet potato fries are definitely to die for. The perfect combination of salty and sweet, this dish is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

    Recipes and styling by Claire Ferrandi

    Assisted by Nomvuselelo Mncube

    Photographs by Dylan Swart 

    Whisky and maple sticky pork ribs with sweet potato fries

    Serves: Serves 3 – 4
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 15 mins


    • Ribs

    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
    • 10ml (2 tsp) maple syrup
    • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
    • 5ml (1 tsp) smoked paprika
    • 60ml (4 tbsp) whisky
    • 250ml (1 cup) barbecue sauce
    • small handful thyme leaves + extra, to garnish (optional)
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1kg rack pork ribs
    • Sweet potato fries

    • 5 medium sweet potatoes
    • canola oil, to deep fry
    • mayonnaise, to dip (optional)



    For the ribs, combine all of the ingredients, except the pork ribs, in a large roasting dish. Add the rack of pork ribs, without cutting it into individual ribs, and baste all over with the marinade. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate, at least 30 minutes.


    For the sweet potato fries, scrub the sweet potatoes of any dirt. Dry and leave them unpeeled and slice into thin chips with a sharp knife. Set aside until needed.


    Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Line a large roasting tray with baking paper and lay the ribs on the tray, making sure they are coated in the marinade. Cook in the preheated oven, 40 minutes.


    While the ribs roast, fry the sweet potatoes. In a deep fat fryer or large, deep pot, heat the oil to 180˚C. Use a sugar thermometer to check the temperature of the oil if using a pot. Fry the chips, in batches if necessary, until golden brown. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season with salt to taste.


    To serve the ribs, cut the rack into individual ribs with a sprinkling of thyme, if desired, a side of sweet potato fries and mayo for dipping the sweet potato fries, if desired.