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Sunday, July 20, 2008

slow cooked ribs with lisa's secret* barbecue sauce

slow cooked ribs

*That is, secret until I posted it here (sorry Lisa, this is too good to NOT share!). Cooking ribs in a simmering slow cooker all day seems like a great idea at first: as minimal prep work as it gets, and you have the most delicious fall-off-the-bone tender ribs you've ever tried. The only caveat? Having to sit around and smell ribs cooking for 8 straight hours. Not a big deal unless, like me, you work from home. Anyway, the best part of these ribs is the sauce. And for me, the best part of the sauce is hearing Lisa (A's mom) TALK about the sauce. A is the oldest of 3 boys, so when Lisa tells me how to cook anything, it's always "the boys used to love this." With the ribs, it's "when the boys were all home, I used to have to make 3 crockpots full, I'd have to quadruple the sauce recipe, the boys ate 40 pounds of meat each" etc. I don't know why, but I absolutely love stories about "the boys". Anyway, try this sauce, and you'll know why a mom of 3 200+ pound "boys" has to make 4x or more of the recipe. It's that good.

Grocery list: however many rack(s) of ribs you want to cook - one full rack baby back ribs serves 2-3, technically. Ask the butcher to cut the membrane off the back for you and it will save you a lot of work at home. For the sauce (I make a double batch to cook the ribs in, and another double batch for dipping later on), per batch: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 medium onion finely chopped, 1.5 T worchestershire, 1 T white vinegar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt.

barbecue sauce

If you're making the sauce for the crockpot, you don't need to cook it first, just mix everything well and drop it in on top of the ribs. Set the slow cooker for 8 hours on low, and then vacate the premises lest you drive yourself crazy with how good it smells. When the ribs are almost done, you can make another batch of the sauce - heat it in a small saucepan on the stove at a low simmer for about 20-30 minutes (the onions will get super tender and all the flavors meld together the longer you let it cook).

ribs in crockpot

This is what the ribs look like when they're almost done. (Note to self: never blog on an empty stomach, especially NOT about ribs.)


Heather Taylor said...

very excited to have this tonight for dinner! i was curious--you doubled the per batch recipe for the sauce--is that right?

i made the other slow cooker recipe of yours--wow. my husband thanks you kindly for sharing the recipe.

KT said...

Hi Heather - I'm so sorry I missed your comment till now! But in case you still wanted to know... yes, I doubled the batch recipe for both the sauce that went in the cooker to start with, and the separate sauce that I cooked to serve with it. I don't like to use the sauce that the meat was cooking in all day, because the flavor (and fat) of the meat kind of takes over everything else. It sort of seems like all the good flavors like the brown sugar and spice all go into the meat, and the sauce that's left in the cooker is kind of bleh... Hope that makes sense :)

How did the ribs turn out for you btw? I read a tip about how to place the ribs standing up in the cooker (since I posted this), which should make them have a firmer texture. I might try that next time too.