Polish Rib Stew (Żeberka)

Once the 1st of September has passed then mum allows me to discontinue wearing shorts and sandals, and to begin wearing boots and hats and scarves. You have no idea how cold I have been while this seasonal legislation has been in force.

Being allowed to wear warm clothes means that it is officially Autumn and that means that it is the time to go oven-happy and start cooking Big Ol’ Hearty Meals.

Like this:


The only time I’ve ever come across slow-cooked spare ribs is when my Babcia (Grandma) used to cook it for the whole family. The stew is so brilliantly hearty and worth cooking just for the meaty, bubbling smell!

Because you use tomato puree for this dish, rather than tinnned tomatoes, the sauce gets this kind of smokey flavour that really complements the sweetness of the carrots and pork (that’s falling off the bone.)

But the real beauty of this dish is that it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare and then you forget about it till dinner time!


Ingredients (serves 4):

Packet of 12 spare pork ribs


3 tbs vegetable oil

3 medium onions, roughly chopped

6 carrots, peeled and sliced

5 tbs tomato concentrate

salt and pepper

1 tsp dried sage

4 bay leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  2. On a plate, use flour to coat each of the spare ribs.
  3. Heat the oil ion a high heat in a large, heavy based frying pan. Fry the coated ribs for a couple minutes on each side or until brown.
  4. Place the ribs, carrots, onion, tomato puree, sage and bay leaves into a large casserole dish. Mix, then pour in water till ingredients are all just covered.
  5. Cover with a lid. Put in the oven and leave for at least 2 hours. Keep checking on consistency of sauce: it should be about the thickness of yoghurt. If it gets too dry then add more water.
  6. Serve with rice or kasza (buckwheat) and enjoy!