“I want the funeral feast to be the biggest the kingdom ever saw, and I want everyone to taste the boar that got me,” a fat king once said. If you’ve been watching Game of Thrones since the beginning, you’ll know exactly who that fat king was (but for the sake of first season spoilers I won’t name him here…as if the title of this post doesn’t give it away already).
Because of the relationship between House Stark and House Baratheon, I’d like to think this delicious rib feast was a variation of the whole boar that was roasted at the king’s funeral. “Apple in its mouth, skin seared crisp. Eat the bastard. Don’t care if you choke on him. Promise me, Ned.”
For my rendition of the boar, I used pork ribs and braised them for about an hour to lock in all of the tender juiciness. For the marinade and sauce, I ended up using regular white onion instead of the pearl onions featured in the image above. The spices are influenced by the differences between Winterfell and King’s Landing – sage and thyme represent the cold north while the paprika and red pepper flakes come from the warm seaside kingdom. Use wine fit for a king, red or white.
Sear the ribs in a skillet over high heat until all sides have been browned. Each side should only take a few seconds to brown so you’ll have to move quickly. You want a good sear that doesn’t cook all the way through the meat to the bone.
Set the seared ribs aside, then use the same skillet over medium heat with an additional drizzle of oil to saute the onion and whole cloves of garlic.
When the onions and garlic have started to caramelize, turn up the heat and add the wine, apple cider vinegar, and herbs and spices.
Let the sauce reduce for about fifteen minutes, then place the ribs back into the liquid. Be sure to flip occasionally so the ribs cook through evenly.
Simmer over medium to medium low heat for about one hour, until the ribs have cooked through and the meat is falling off the bones.
When the ribs are ready, remove the bay leaves from the sauce, then drizzle the sauce over the ribs when serving.
Honor the friendship between the Starks and the Baratheons by eating a root medley from the Stark’s root cellar. Serve alongside an extra strong flagon of wine – but don’t tell the king.
Baratheon Boar Ribs | Game of Thrones Inspired Recipes
- 32 oz pork ribs
- ½ cup red or white wine
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons local honey
- ½ cup onion or pearl onions chopped
- 7 cloves garlic whole
- 1 tablespoon sage
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil for searing
- 2 bay leaves optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- Split up the ribs so each bone contains an even amount of meat on each side. Season with salt and pepper. In a skillet over high heat, add the olive oil then sear the ribs on each side until browned but not cooked through.
- Remove the ribs from the skillet and set aside. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the onions and whole cloves of garlic with a drizzle of olive oil. Saute until beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
- Pour in the wine, apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. Add the sage, thyme, paprika and red pepper flakes (and bay leaves if using). Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the ribs back into the skillet with the sauce. Simmer over medium to medium low heat for about one hour until the ribs have cooked through. Be sure to turn about every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Plate the ribs then pour the remaining sauce in the pan over the ribs. Serve alongside Winterfell root vegetables. Celebrate the King of the North!