Ottolenghi Style Wild Boar Ribs with Spring Onion Salsa and Couscous Salad

This Ottolenghi-inspired cuisine with our savoury wild boar ribs, enhanced by a fresh spring onion salsa and a divine couscous salad with a spicy raisin dressing, celebrates the South African essence by cooking these juicy ribs over an open fire in a “potjie”. While the traditional recipe uses pork ribs, our version features tender wild boar ribs, offering a distinct flavour twist.

The original recipes were published in the The Guardian by Yotam Ottolenghi and can be found here.

We had to improvise a bit seeing that we were cooking over an open fire in a “potjie” and instead of using pork ribs, we used wild boar ribs.

I sourced the wild boar ribs from Cape Venison who never disappoints with their products.

The wild boar ribs, salad and fig sauce



  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp grated lime rind
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • 100g soft dried figs, chopped
  • 2 tsp chipotle chilli flakes
  • 1½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1½ tsp tomato paste
  • 1½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt


  • 5 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 25g parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • ⅛ tsp salt


  • 250g giant couscous
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 40g parsley leaves, chopped
  • 20g mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 60g pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • 100g (baby) radishes, thinly sliced
  • Spicy raisin dressing
    • 80g golden raisins (or sultanas), roughly chopped
    • 2 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
    • 80ml apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp chilli flakes
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil
    • 50g capers, plus 2 tsp caper brine


  • 2kg whole wild boar ribs (or pork ribs)
  • 500ml chicken stock


Marinade Preparation: In a small bowl, thoroughly mix all the marinade ingredients. Place the ribs in a container large enough to lay flat. Pour the marinade over the ribs, ensuring they are fully coated. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight for optimal flavor infusion.

The ribs in marinade

Sauce Preparation: Begin by softening the figs in a small bowl with boiling water for 15 minutes until softened. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and heat. Add bay leaves, star anise, onion, garlic, and chipotle flakes, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and golden. Stir in tomato paste, cooking for another minute, then add figs and soaking water, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup (or honey), and vinegar. Cover and simmer for 13-15 minutes until figs are soft enough to crush easily. Transfer mixture to a food processor, add salt, and blitz until smooth. Reserve half for basting and half for serving.

Salsa Preparation: In a small bowl, combine spring onions, parsley, lime juice, olive oil, and salt.

Salad Preparation: Dry-fry couscous in a medium saucepan until toasted. Add stock, salt, and pepper, bringing to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and let cook undisturbed for 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Let sit covered for another 10 minutes, then uncover and cool to room temperature.

For the dressing, simmer raisins, honey (or maple syrup), vinegar, and chili flakes in a small saucepan until raisins are plump. Remove from heat, cool, then stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil, capers and caper brine.

The ribs with the sauce basting

Rib Cooking: Place ribs (bone side down) in a cast iron pot with marinade. Baste with sauce, adding just enough chicken stock to the side for moisture. Cover tightly with foil and lid, cooking over medium-high heat on open coals. Turn after 30 minutes, ensuring sufficient stock, and repeat until ribs are fork-tender.

…turn, turn..

Serving: Place the couscous in a spacious bowl, add the dressing, parsley, mint, and half of the coriander seeds, pistachios, and radishes. Gently mix until thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to a broad, shallow bowl. Sprinkle the remaining coriander seeds, pistachios, and radishes over the top, then drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil before serving.

..turn, turn..

Serve ribs with salsa, salad, and reserved sauce.


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