I love making things in the crockpot lately. It's really convenient and easy clean-up. But, most recipes are usually casseroles or soups. Neither of which Isabel will eat.
I've always been afraid of cooking ribs. I tried it one time when I was 18 with beef ribs, and I didn't know you had to par-boil them. I was trying to make a fancy dinner for my boyfriend (now husband), and it turned out a rock hard mess. But this recipe is delicious and really easy! It's adapted from America's Test Kitchen: Slow Cooker Revolution. Its also pretty inexpensive, especially if you can get the ribs on sale. I paid less $6.32 for just over 2lb of ribs, and $1.37 for the BBQ sauce (both @ Target). I already had all of the other ingredients at home.
Just a heads up, as with most slow cooker recipes, you need to start these in the morning.
2.5 tbsp Light brown sugar (or dark if you don't have it)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1.5 tbsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Chili powder
1 cup BBQ sauce (or about half of the small [18oz] bottle)
2-2.5 lb pork [baby back] ribs
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mash the brown sugar with the back of the spoon so it's not clumpy.
Cut your ribs in half. Leave the membrane on to keep them together. Rub the dry mix onto the ribs. Front and back! (this pic is blurry sorry)
Be prepared for dirty hands!
Stick the ribs in the crockpot standing up with the top (meaty part) towards the outside of the crockpot, and the thicker part down.
Now, pour BBQ sauce all over the ribs. I didn't measure on this part, just squirted half of the bottle on them.
Stick the lid on, and wait 6-8 hours. Mine were perfect at 7 hours.
Now comes the oven work involved. Don't don't don't skip this step-- (even if your ribs look so mouthwatering that you want to eat them standing over the crockpot)-- because it really takes the ribs to the next level! This part with give them the barbequed on the grill flavor.
Take the ribs out very carefully because they are super tender!!! I don't have too many pictures of the next couple steps because my hubby finished them for me.
Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with foil and place a wire rack on it (if you have it, if not its ok...we didn't use one because we couldn't find it). Then place the ribs on it, bone side up, and set it to the side.
Then skim any fat off of the juice that's left in the crockpot. Strain the juices into a saucepan using a mesh strainer (again, we didn't have one, so Adrian did the best he could putting them into the pan). Turn your oven on broil and allow it to heat up while you finish the rest. Make sure the top oven rack is about 10-12 inches below the broiling element. Reduce the sauce about a third by bringing it to a boil, then allowing it to simmer for about 15 minutes. This is our unstrained sauce...
Then brush the ribs with sauce and broil for 3-4 minutes. Flip the ribs to meat side up and (verrrry carefully) brush again with sauce. Then broil again for 6-8 minutes. You can baste them again once or twice during this process. That's it, they are done!!!!
Now eat!!!! You might want to keep some baby wipes at the table to clean your hands ;) Both of the kids eat them, including Isabel, who is the pickiest eater on the planet (recently). I can't wait to make these again.