Maple syrup & chilli spare ribs with English asparagus

Restaurant: Old Farm Dorn
Serves: 4
Prep / cook time 3 hours plus overnight marinating

Try this BBQ-friendly recipe from Sarah Righton of Old Farm Dorn near Moreton-in-Marsh 

I can’t bear to waste any of our home-produced meat and as the saying goes with pigs, ‘you can eat everything but the squeal’. Trotters make a great addition to stews and a quick google gives you the 10 best pig’s ear recipes. If you ask for these at our shop we can let you have them for nothing…

If you don’t fancy ears and trotters then maybe a spare rib dish is a good entry level alternative. Sarah Dugdale (Masterchef semi-finalist) is a friend of mine and has been a great champion for home cooking with local ingredients. Sarah started a Facebook page at the start of lockdown ‘Let’s Get The Nation Cooking Again’, it now has nearly 6500 members and is a great place to go for ideas, so this is where my inspiration for this recipe came from. I would have followed it to the letter but had to improvise due to availability of ingredients in my cupboards and I didn’t have my glasses on!



Maple syrup & chilli spare ribs

150ml maple syrup

1 tsp chilli powder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tbsp mustard

2 tbsp lemon juice

2kg pork spare ribs

1 bunch English asparagus

Olive oil



Mix all the ingredients and marinade the ribs – prepare the night before if possible.

Cover with foil and cook in a low oven (140°C) for 2-3 hours (or use a slow cooker).



Remove the foil and cook at 200°C for 20 mins. Alternatively, cook on a hot BBQ for the ultimate BBQ-charred ribs.

Transfer to a warm plate to serve - don't forget plenty of napkins and wipes for sticky fingers!



Meanwhile, snap the woody stems from the asparagus and wash thoroughly. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place on a hot griddle on the BBQ. Turn every few seconds until charred on the outside and soft on the inside. Dress with sea salt flakes and a little more olive oil and serve straight away.



Serve as part of a BBQ feast along with Jersey Royal potatoes and a green salad.


Old Farm Shop, Dorn

We are third generation farmers on a small tenant farm one mile north of Moreton-in-Marsh. We took over the farm from Simon’s parents in 2002 and in April 2004 we opened the first version of our farm shop (we are now on no. 3!) so that we could offer people a chance to buy local and know exactly where their food is produced. Our abattoir is only seven miles away and we installed a cutting room at the farm where all our meat is packaged and we make our own award-winning sausages, bacon and gammons.

The shop is basically an extension of our larder and we fill it with as much tasty, local produce as we can (beers, dairy, jams, bread, veg, eggs etc) and buy direct from the producer where possible. We use compostable trays for packing meat where possible and stock environmentally-friendly cleaning product re-fills, locally made beeswax food wraps and goat milk soap and shampoo bars.

We’re open on Fridays and Saturdays 9.30am – 2.00pm and our customers don’t just come to shop, the coffee machine is on and we’re always happy to sit and chat!



Sustainability is something we really care about at Old Farm, we believe that by following traditional farming methods we can help in the fight against climate change whilst still producing great quality food and providing wildlife habitats.

Our sheep and Hereford cattle graze permanent pasture land that could not be used for growing crops; well-managed grazing systems can sequester enough carbon to entirely compensate for the green-house gases these systems release.

Our ‘Glamrock’ pigs are housed in straw yards and outside in tents. Hay and silage is made on the farm to feed stock over the winter reducing transport costs and emissions. Straw from the arable crops is used for bedding. Manure is put back onto the arable land to reduce the need for artificial fertilisers and we are planting peas and beans which put nitrogen back into the soil. We are also trialling a ‘no-till’ approach to improve the health and quality of the land.

We are members of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) and have been involved with Open Farm Sunday since it started. It is on June 12th this year – check out the website nearer the time for more information as we’ll be inviting people for a farm walk, demonstrations and tractor and trailer rides.