I guess the good thing about ribs is that they’re generally too expensive to buy on a regular basis. It’s definitely splurge food, both from a calorie and a budget perspective. But here’s a hint–I never buy meat when I actually plan on eating it. I’ve had these ribs in my freezer for 2 months now; they’re normally $4.99 a pound at Kroger, but I got these for $2.99 a pound. This week, I just got brisket for $.97 a pound, even though I have no immediate brisket plans in my future. If you keep an eye on the sales, you can get the pricier cuts of meat for a great deal.
I think one of the main complaints I’ve heard about ribs (other than the fact that people don’t like eating them straight off the bone) is that they’re fatty and tough. I’ve had this recipe for years, but I was never able to really get them as tender as I wanted them. The braising liquid is to DIE for, so I knew there was major potential, but I just couldn’t figure out what to do. After lots of rib research (hard work, I know), I discovered two things: even though spareribs are cheaper, buy babybacks. They’re meatier, less fatty, and more tender. And secondly, I needed to be braising the ribs slower at a lower temperature than I was doing in the oven. Enter my good friend…the crockpot! Yep, slow cooker ribs. Your greatest fantasies have just been realized. These will fall off the bone and a good portion of visible fat will come off during the slow cooking and the grilling.
I really agonized about which order to post my recipes this week–my natural instinct was to save the big guns (ribs) for Friday and get the pansy grilled vegetables out of the way early in the week. But then I realized that if anyone wants to make ribs for any Memorial Day barbeques, they might need more than two days’ notice. So here. Take my pride. You get the rib recipe on Monday. :)
Our Best Bites
1 rack babyback ribs (about 2-2.5 pounds; 1 rack feeds two adults; another rack of ribs will work with the marinade if your crockpot can fit them)
3 c. pineapple juice
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. mustard powder
1/3 c. ketchup
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground ginger
4 cloves garlic
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Your favorite barbecue sauce (try getting some at your favorite BBQ restaurant–they usually sell it pretty cheaply! If you’re in the Provo/Orem area, go to Smokehouse Pizza and BBQ and get some of theirs…I’ll be jealous but happy that your ribs will be delicious!)
Using a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears, cut each rack into about 4 portions (it ends up being about 3-4 rib bones each).
Place in crockpot
. Mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, mustard powder, ketchup, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, cloves, ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Pour over ribs and cover.
This step can be done the night before. Set to low for 6-7 hours. You can poke ‘em occasionally to make sure they all get exposed to the braising liquid and that they’re not getting too tender (like totally falling off the bone; these babies still have to make it onto the grill!)
Um, ew, right? No worries. This just shows that you can be horribly ugly one minute and gloriously gorgeous and delicious about 10 minutes later…