Mar 05 2008

Crock Pot ribs.

Published by at 11:44 pm under Recipes

Ribs are good in summer and in winter. Who doesn’t love barbequed ribs in the summertime? It’s a tradition! And it’s a hearty enough meal to get you through the cold winter nights.

The recipe for the ribs came right out of the little cookbook that came with my Crock Pot. I’ll tell you exactly how it’s written in the book and I’ll also add little notes on how I do it.

What you need, according to the book:

  • 3-4 pounds spareribs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) barbeque sauce

What you need, according to me, and why:

  • 3-4 pounds pre-cut country style ribs (you can buy a rack of spareribs, if you like, but you’re going to have to cut them into pieces to fit into the pot, and that is a pain. Buying pre-cut country style ribs is easier.)
  • Some kosher salt (this isn’t really a change, I just prefer kosher salt to iodized table salt. It sticks better. And I don’t measure because I’m not making a rub – the proportions don’t matter. I put salt on until it looks like enough. If you need a measurement as a guideline, no less than 1/2 tsp.)
  • Ground pepper (see notes on salt)
  • 1 med. yellow onion, sliced (no change, just specifying size and type)
  • 1 12oz. bottle KC Masterpiece Original (12 oz. of sauce is plenty. I like KC Masterpiece, I think it has a good flavor that stands up to long cooking)

OK, ready to cook? Got everything you need? Let’s go. Your prep time is going to be about 20 – 30 minutes, depending on how quick you are.

First thing you’ll need to do is get your oven ready to do some broiling. If you don’t know how, refer to your oven manual. It’s generally pretty simple: get out broiler rack, place meat on, place in oven or in broiler drawer. You can skip this step, but your ribs won’t be as good. I don’t know why. They just won’t. I’ve tried it both ways, and unbroiled ribs lack something.

I have an electric convection oven, which means I put my oven rack on the second space from the top, push the button that says “Convection Broil”, close the door, and wait for a few minutes. Just make sure you have your broiler rack out on the counter and not in the oven, because we’ll need it for the meat. The meat we are going to prep now.

Mmmm. . . meat.

Raw ribs in package

I bought two packages of country-style ribs. At my grocery, that means I’ll get six ribs. Yours might be different. Anyway, open up that package and get your ribs! Put them on your broiler pan in a nice arrangement, leaving some space between. Sprinkle them with kosher salt and grind lots of pepper over them. Don’t skimp on the salt and pepper!

Raw seasoned ribs.

There, all ready for the broiler. You might notice that I’ve lined the tray of my broiler pan with foil. Cleanup will be that much easier. Don’t put foil on the top, though. Those vents have to stay open so the juices can drip down.

If your broiler isn’t ready yet, give it a few minutes. Mine is generally ready to go at this point, so I stick the ribs in and set the timer for 7 1/2 minutes. While the ribs are taking their first broiler ride, I slice the onion. Don’t worry too much about this – I try for around 1/4 slices, but if they’re a little bigger or smaller it’s not going to kill anyone.

See – two halves, sliced. Or being sliced. That’s my trusty Wüsthof paring knife. It does all my slicing.

Once your onions are sliced, go ahead and break them up and put them into the slow cooker. By the way, did you notice it’s starting to smell meaty in here? Mmmm.

Now all you have to do is wait for your timer to go off. Once it does, use a pair of tongs to turn the ribs to their other side, and put them back in the broiler for another 7 1/2 minutes. Use this time to do something constructive like surf the internet or read a trashy magazine. You know, improve your mind.

Ah. . . your ribs are broiled!

They’re only supposed to be browned. So don’t be alarmed if things are still looking a bit on the uncooked side. As long as both sides have a nice color to them, we’re okay. They are going to be pretty hot though, so use the tongs to pick them up. You want to put three into the pot, right on top of the onions. We’re going to layer these. Once you’ve got the first three in, douse them with half of the bottle of barbeque sauce.

There, a totally uncompensated product placement. Also note the presence of Bailey’s in the background. I like to have liquor on hand in case things get tense.

Once you’ve got your first layer in and doused, add the remaining ribs and pour the rest of the sauce on top.

It’s looking kind of gory in there, so hurry up and get the lid on. Plug in your slow cooker and turn it on. I started this kind of late in the day (11 AM), so I put mine on High, which means it only needs to cook for 4-5 hours. If you’re doing this before you head out for your nine-hour day at the office, set it to Low. Then it will need to cook for 8-10 hours.

When time is up and you’re ready to eat, carefully remove the lid (it might be hot, depending on your model, so be careful) and set it aside. Remove the ribs with tongs and place on a plate. Don’t be surprised if some meat falls off the bone and you have to go fishing for it – these ribs will be tender! You can spoon out some of the sauce that’s left in the pot if you want extra.

Things I might serve with these include: Sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, squash, and sweet corn. Also some kind of biscuit. Buttermilk, preferably. A nice loaf of home-baked bread never went awry, either.

But, if you’re a tried and true carnivore, just eat the ribs. Who’s going to know?


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