Freddie Mercury's Last Meal of Sticky Ribs
A man who lived his life to the extremes, Freddie Mercury lay dying in his Kensington mansion, aged 45, due to complications from AIDS.
Freddie's brave face was no charade. He had fulfilled his dreams many years ago. He had fallen in love, changed the world and most importantly, he had become someone.
He had felt suffocated by his parent's strict religious views all of his childhood and had been told to stop dreaming of being a rockstar and to live in the real world. How he had shown the doubters. Raising millions for the impoverished and penniless people of Africa through a mesmerising show at LiveAid 1985, his Tanzanian parents now accepted their son's impact on the world.
Burning the candle at both ends, I believe, was always the game plan for Freddie. He had been in boarding school in India until he was 18. As soon as his parents let Farrokh, his birth name, free on London's nightlife he had no apprehension or hesitation of wanting to start a band and become someone
Working a number of humdrum day jobs, including a baggage sorter at Heathrow Airport, Freddie Mercury quickly changed his name from Farrokh Bulsara and after auditioning at the end of a gig to John Deacon & Brian May, quickly recruited Roger Taylor and thus formed Queen in 1970.
Fast forward 15 years and Queen, Freddie included, are household names and loved across the world for their high-energy and crowd-engaging shows and songs. Freddie also caught the eye with his daring costumes and exquisite showmanship.
It wasn't just on stage that Freddie was wild either. His personal life began to, momentarily, spiral out of control and he regularly attended drug & drink-fuelled orgies. It was perhaps at one of these orgies that he contracted HIV, later turning to AIDS, which would cut the showman's life short.
With his friends and family at his bedside, and the pearly gates of heaven in his peripheral, Freddie was, at some point, served some food which namely Sticky Ribs was a part of. Probably not eaten or attempted by the Queen frontman, we will try to do it justice anyway, by recreating it this week on The Last Supper.
If you'd like to know more about the incredible life of Freddie Mercury - please scroll down after the recipe.
8 Pork Ribs
4 Cloves Garlic
1tbsp Chilli Flakes
3 Star Anise
100ml Soy Sauce
50ml Rice Wine Vinegar
400g Spring Onions
400ml Chicken Stock
Extra Spring Onions for topping
1. Season the ribs with salt & pepper
2. Heat an oven-proof pan an add olive oil when smoking. Lay ribs away from you and sear for 4-5 minutes until golden on each side
3. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli flakes and star anise. Cook out for 60 seconds and then add honey & deglaze with soy sauce & rice wine vinegar
4. Once homogenous and heated, add spring onions and shallots and saute for 4-5 minutes. Deglaze once more with chicken stock and bring to boil.
5. Place in pre-heated 180/350F oven for 30 minutes. Turning once and then roasting for a further 30 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and then place back on hob to glaze for around 5 minutes until sticky, as per the video
7. Plate in an aesthetically pleasing stack and sprinkle spring onions on for texture & appearance.
The Life of Freddie Mercury
One of the most iconic musicians ever, the Queen frontman was dying in his Kensington home when he was brought the ribs. It is unlikely that Freddie attempted the ribs, but that evening on the 24th November 1991, he left a legacy which is as important as it has ever been.
Born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar, modern-day Tanzania, Freddie was sent to boarding school in India and quickly discovered his musical talents.
His Parsi parents then moved him over to London, aged 18 and he made it no secret that he wanted to start a band. After meeting Brian May, John Deacon & Roger Taylor - that band became Queen.
Queen found success in the 1970s and were a household name by the 80s. Particularly known for his energetic performances on stage and outrageous costumes, Mercury became one of the most celebrated musicians of all time.
Mercury left Queen in 1985 and found some success as a solo artist. As his fame grew out of control, so did his personal life.
Without the backing of the band, which some say acted to keep him on the rails, Freddie was slowly going off them.
He developed a penchant for cocaine and would often stay up all night attending orgies, namely in Berlin. His drinking was also deemed heavy, not to mention the eclectic cocktails of drugs he would often sample.
It was around this time that Mercury slept with someone who was HIV positive and he contracted the disease. A persistent rumour is that he had a threesome with 2 men, 1 of whom knew he was HIV positive.
Freddie was living the rock star life in excess. It should be mentioned that in the 1980s we didn’t know much about AIDS or even how it was contracted.
Diagnosed positive in 1987, Freddie’s health deteriorate even though he continued to record with Queen. He would often have to drink numerous Vodka & Lemonades just to be able to make it through recording sessions.
He released a number of songs whilst dying, including the heartbreaking ‘These Our The
Days of Our Lives’ where in the video he is pale and gaunt, a shadow of his former self.
Eventually bed bound, and with his friends at his side, Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991, a day before releasing his illness to the British press, although many suspected.