Pork Ribs for Djurdjevdan.


Defiant Pork Ribs

On the 6th of May people across Serbia are celebrating 'Djurdjevdan', Saint George's day.
Traditionally we celebrate this day by roasting a whole pig to be shared among family and friends invited to the family *'slava'.
Unfortunately, these are times spoiled by the presence of C19 and hence we were forced to celebrate without company and roast a slab of ribs, just for the two of us.
Djurdjevdan, literally meaning; 'the day of the Lilly of the valley' is also the title of a song, with roots to WWII when Nazis occupied much of the Balkans.
In defiance of the 'Ustasche' (WWII Nazi sympathisers from Croatia) their Serb, Roma and Jewish prisoners sang this beautiful and heartbreaking song. I will leave you a link below
Today Serbs and Croats are thankfully on much better terms.
Even so we celebrate St. George's Day and continue the tradition of Djurdjevdan.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Rest at room temperature10 mins
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Balkan
Keyword: Pork, Pork ribs
Servings: 4 portions
Cost: 7-10Euro, 8-12 US$


  • oven tray with a rack for the ribs to roast on
  • garlic press
  • tongs
  • brush for basting


  • 2.5-3.5 kg rack of pork ribs
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp all purpose spice mix a link for this recipe is provided below
  • 4-5 tbsp my barbecue sauce a link for this recipe is provided below
  • 1-2 tbsp molasses Molasses will add shine and make the ribs sticky and sweet.
  • 3-4 cups water for steaming


  • First make sure to choose a nice piece of meat, something which is not too fatty and with plenty of meat around the ribs.
    Cut away any excess fat and remove the membrane covering the bones. Remving the membrane can be a bit awkward but can be achieved by first scraping away some of the membrane with a sharp knife, then using (clean) pliers to pull away the rest.
  • Now that you have a 'clean' rack of ribs, rub both sides generously with my all purpose spice rub. (link at bottom of this page)
  • Place the rack of ribs, bone side down, in the middle of the pan. Add 1-2 millimeters of water to the tray, cover tightly with aluminium foil and place the tray in the oven.
  • The oven temperature should initially be set at 230°C (450°F).
  • As soon as you put the ribs in the oven turn down the temperature to 170°C (340°F). Cook for two hours.
  • After the first two hours of roasting remove the foil. Turn the bone side facing up. Then replace the foil and return the rack to the oven and roast for an other 1 hour at 170°C (340°F) (or a little longer, depending on the size of the rack).
    Make sure there always is a little water in the pan
    You know when the meat is done when you can literally pull the bones out clean.
  • Finally, we mix my barbecue sauce with the molasses into a paste and use this to baste both sides of the ribs. First, using a brush, baste the bone side. Cook for 5 minutes. Then baste the meaty side, cook for 5 minutes. Repeat basting process, for each side, again and again till all the sauce has been used up.
  • Note.
    When the basting process starts remove all juices from the pan. The basting process is there to ensure the rack gets a sticky, sweet, crusty and finger lickin' 'bark'.


We enjoyed our ribs with coleslaw, a green salad & oven roasted potatoes and a glass of your favorite wine.
Here is the link to the song Djurdjevdan
Here is the link for my all purpose spice mix
Here is the link to my barbecue sauce
Here you can find out about a great Serbian family tradition, the 'slava'

Here are some of my other recipes

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