Monkey Gland Ribs by Sharon Lurie, The Kosher Butcher’s Wife

Monkey Gland RibsSharon Lurie, also known as The Kosher Butchers Wife, is a tour de force in South African Kosher cooking. Sharon will be demonstrating at Gefiltefest on June 26th at JW3.

Monkey Gland Ribs are a South African favourite, but don’t panic, no monkeys are involved. Sharon tells us that  this sauce will have you covered for almost anything during Pesach. She suggests cook spare ribs, roast or brisket in it or spoon it over steak, schnitzels, burgers, chops and wors (South African sausage).

2 top rib roasts, cut in half horizontally to give two long pieces of meaty ribs. Then cut the ribs individually. 

For the Sauce
2 cup finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1 cup Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chutney  – see recipe below or use a shop bought mango chutney
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup sugar
1 beef bouillion cube

In a medium to large saucepan, fry the onions and ginger in oil until golden brown. You really want that lovely caramelized look to the onions.
Add the garlic, tomatoes and grated apple. Continue to fry until soft.
Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and allow to simmer for 30 – 45 minutes with the lid lying loosely on top of the pot. You need to keep an eye on it, especially towards the end of the cooking process, as it can catch on the bottom of the pan and burn.
Either blend in a food processor or with hand blender until smooth.
Allow to cool and refrigerate in a glass jar or plastic bottle.

Fry the individual ribs, meat side down first then on the remaining sides until evenly tanned.
Pour sauce over ribs. You may not need all the sauce but ensure the ribs are well coated.
Place into roasting dish, cover and roast (meaty side up, facing you) for 1 hour on 180 Deg C/ 350 Deg F then reduce heat to 170 Deg C / 300 Deg F and continue to roast covered for 2 hours.
Remove cover and check that they are nicely glazed, if too dry add a little more sauce and continue to cook. If the liquid is too loose and needs to thicken up to form a nice glaze, remove the tin foil and continue to cook until the sauce reduces and thickens up.


Little oil for frying
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 tsp crushed fresh garlic
8 large tomatoes, chopped
2 mangoes (not too ripe) peeled and chopped
5 cm piece of ginger, grated
1 cinnamon stick
3 green apples, peeled, cored and grated
200g dried apricots
1 red chilli, chopped
2 cups red wine
2 cups sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions and garlic until the onions just start to turn brown around the edges.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 – 3 hours with the lid lying loosely on the top.
Stir intermittently, especially during the last hour of cooking, but be careful as the sauce could bubble up and spit up at you.
Because of the high sugar content, the chutney can catch quite easily towards the end.
When it starts to darken, remove from the heat. It’s difficult to give an exact cooking time, as liquids evaporate quicker or slower depending on the size of the pot used, but do it on a day when you’re going to be in the kitchen for a few hours.

When cool, place in sterilised 500 ml glass jars with screw-on lids You’ll probably need 3 jars.
Use in Monkey Gland sauce, but also great with cold meats or as a basis for other marinades and glazes. Us South Africans put chutney into everything!