I had never thought about making ribs in the slow cooker, but for those of you who have read my cooking column before, you know, after a long day at work, I have come to rely heavily on the slow cooker to feed my husband and two boys.
I recently was sitting in the stands at Struthers' Cene Park watching my older son play baseball and chatting with one of the other working moms who has active kids about how hard it is to find time to cook. We both agreed the Crock Pot is the way to go. She said she uses her slow cooker to roast spare ribs. It sounded good and I thought I'd give it a try.
I'm never afraid to experiment and mixed up the basic ingredients that I think always go well with barbeque sauce, including brown sugar and dijon mustard, one of my favorite spices, paprika, and of course, pepper and salt. For a little extra flavor I decided on garlic salt instead of table salt.
The slow cooker comes in handy for a busy working mom. These slow-cooked barbecue ribs are a family favorite.
Tribune Chronicle / Brenda J. Linert
For cooking safety, I always make sure to start with thawed meat. My Crock Pot cooks very hot, and six hours usually is long enough, but if your slow cooker cooks more slowly, you may need to cook a little longer.
Make sure to avoid the temptation of removing the lid on your slow cooker! Remember, every time you do that, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to get back up to the original cooking temperature.
If you need to cook a little faster, you can always crank the pot up. Cooking on "high" would require an estimated four to six hours to prepare the ribs.
6 pork spareribs, thawed
1 / 4 cup of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1 / 2 cups barbecue sauce
Slow-cooked barbecue ribs
Place spareribs in a slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the slow cooker pot. Spread Dijon mustard and 1 /2 cup of barbeque sauce on the ribs, saving a cup of barbeque sauce for later.
Sprinkle the ribs with the rest of the ingredients. Cover. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Shortly before serving, add the remaining cup of barbeque sauce, recover and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve.
Slather the ribs with more barbeque sauce shortly before serving, and enjoy!