I know I’m on a pork kick recently, but I just had to share this recipe. As the weather cools and we start to think about cooking indoors again, here is a great way to have that yummy BBQ rib meal on a cold fall or winter day. Truth be told, I am not really a big fan of traditional bone-in ribs. I’ll eat them once a year at Jazz and Rib fest in downtown Columbus because “When in Rome…” and because those professionals really know how to cook some ribs. But other than that, I really don’t like to eat much of anything off the bone (chicken wings excluded because I love buffalo sauce so much that it trumps my aversion to eating meat off of a bone). So, I love this recipe because it calls for boneless ribs and after they slow cook for six hours, they are so unbelievably tender they’ll melt in your mouth. You can keep this recipe easy and just make the dry rub, slow cook the ribs and add your own favorite BBQ sauce, or you could spend a bit more time and make this tangy tomatoey Louisiana style sauce. My husband took the lead on this meal that he found in the June 2013 issue of Cuisine at Home. He took charge of the ribs and the sauce, while I made a version of the Creole Coleslaw found in the same issue, and whipped up my own redskin mashed potatoes. It was a fun meal to prepare and the whole family loved it.
*For another great recipe from Cuisine at Home and some commentary on why we love this cooking magazine, check out my post from a few months ago titled Vietnamese Noodle Bowl with Grilled Pork.
Slow Cooker Boneless Ribs with Louisiana Style BBQ Sauce (Serves 8)
4-5 lbs boneless country style pork ribs
2 large onions
¾ cup apple juice
1 Tbsp. each paprika and garlic powder
2 tsp. each onion powder, kosher salt, and brown sugar
1 tsp. each black pepper, dried thyme, and celery seed
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Trim excess fat from the ribs then pat dry with a paper towl. Place sliced onions and apple juice in the bottom of slow cooker. Combine all spices and rub spice mixture onto the ribs. Place ribs in slow cooker on top of onions. Cook on low for 5 hours. Remove ribs from slowcooker, and discard liquid and onions. Place ribs back in slow cooker and pour your favorite BBQ sauce over ribs (appx. 2 cups) or see recipe below for a from-scratch Louisiana style Sauce. Cook on low for 1 more hour.
Louisiana Style BBQ Sauce (Makes 3 cups)
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup red pepper, diced
½ cup celery, diced
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
2 cups ketchup
¼ cup creole mustard (sometimes hard to find so stone ground or dijon mustard with a few shakes of hot sauce is a fine substitute or you can sometimes find “Tobasco Mustard” which would work)
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, pepper, celery and garlic and cook about 5 minutes until softened. Add ketchup, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce; simmer on low for 20-25 minutes. Puree sauce with a handheld blender (immersion blender) or in a food processor until smooth. Use 2 cups on ribs in slow cooker and reserve 1 cup for extra when serving.
Creole Coleslaw (Makes 10 servings – cut in half if just serving one family)
4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (or buy a bag of one or the other pre-shredded)
1 ½ cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup green onions, sliced
½ cup fresh parsley
½ cup mayonnaise (I opted for part mayo and part plain greek yogurt)
½ creole mustard (or stone ground mixed with a few shakes of hot sauce if you can’t find creole)
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp celery seed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Whisk together mayo, mustard, vinegar, celery seed, salt, black and cayenne pepper. Toss dressing with cabbage, red pepper, carrots, celery, green onions and parsley.
Adapted slightly from Cuisine at Home June 2013 Issue
**For Redskin Mashed Potatoes, cook some redskin potatoes in boiling water for appx 15 minutes or until fork tender. In large mixer, combine cooked potatoes, a few tablespoons of the potato water, some butter, some sour cream or plain greek yogurt, some garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix until as smooth as you want. Sometimes I add green onions and shredded cheddar cheese. I love cheddar mashed potatoes with BBQ!