The grilling season is a long way off, and after feeling the warmth of Florida sun last week on our trip to Disney, it feels like even spring is taking foorreeeeverrrrr. (No doubt my impatience is even more acute waiting for baby and not being able to ski.) But I do have some sunshine to share with you:
Ribs you can make in your crock pot!
These are not just ANY ribs though. They are smothered in one of the best secrets in my recipe box.
Eileen’s BBQ Sauce.
When I was first married, there were a few things I craved that my mom (aka Eileen) made, and this was one of them. It is such a perfectly balanced sweet/acidic/tangy combination that it makes you dream about it in your sleep. My mom makes the sauce when she cooks ribs in the oven and the sauce becomes thicker, which is yummy, and if you want to know how she does this I tacked it on at the end. But I was craving more then the skinny ribs with sticky sauce. I wanted fall-off-the-bone-meaty pork ribs. So I decided to try them in the crock pot, and I used country style ribs instead of a rack of ribs.
Turns out they were heavenly. Think pot roast tender.
Even more sunshine for you: this dish is super easy. First you make the sauce. I should warn you that I constantly doctor these ingredients to suit my taste. I am looking for the ZING factor on my tounge, but as I mentioned it is best when balanced with the sweet. So play around a little. These amounts should get you close. And don’t stop at ribs – this sauce is good on chicken, smothered over meatballs, pulled pork, a cardboard box…
Eileen’s BBQ Sauce:
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 c. ketchup
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. water
Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Sautee onions and celery for 5 min, until tender. Then add the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine. Be sure to season to taste, then bring to a boil and then let simmer for 10 min. if using in the crock pot, 30-45 min if using in oven or on grill.
Crock Pot Ribs:
Take 3 pounds country style pork ribs and lay in bottom of crock pot, cutting to fit if necessary. Season with salt & pepper. Pour 1 batch of BBQ Sauce over, set on low heat and cook for 3-4 hours.
If you prefer stickier ribs, select not country style but babyback ribs (or any ‘rack’ of ribs with the word back in the title). Remove white membrane off back, then set oven to broil and broil in oven for 10 minutes each side. Then set oven to 300 degrees. Lay the ribs on large piece of foil, baste generously with BBQ on each side, seal up the ribs in foil, then cook for 2 hours. Baste again generously with the sauce and cook uncovered (remove top foil) for 1 hour more until sauce is nice and thick. (If you have any sauce left over you can serve on the side, yum!)
Serve with a Corona or Margarita and pretend it is summer. (Virgin Margaritas work for me until baby Curtis comes and I can have the real thing!)