Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Simple No-Clean-Up Slow Cooker Ribs and Sweet Coleslaw

For a long time, I didn't think I really liked ribs, which sounds like sacrilege, I know, but they were never quite tender enough, and you had to do SO MUCH with them, boiling the meat in a giant pot, heating up the kitchen... it was just too much.

I found instructions for slow cooker ribs a while back, and I decided to make them my own. This recipe makes incredibly tender sweet and salty ribs that take so little effort, it verges on magic.

During the summer, we cook these for a little shorter time and then finish them on the grill to get that fire cooked taste on them, but during the winter, when the snow comes up to mid-thigh out by the grill, eating them straight out of the slow cooker works just as well!

What you'll need for about 3 servings of ribs (the coleslaw recipe is further down the page):

2 racks of baby back ribs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8th teaspoon onion powder
Pinch of pepper
Barbecue sauce of your choice, about 1/3 cup (or more)

You'll also need:
Big Oval Shaped Slow Cooker -aka 6 quart Crockpot (or you could just do one rack in a smaller one)
Slow Cooker Lining Bags (optional but it is what makes this No-Clean-Up Ribs)
Wax paper or a surface on which to rub your ribs

Put your liner in your 6qt slow cooker. If you REALLY want no clean up, double bag that sucker, as one bag will let a little of your juice into the slow cooker, usually.

Mix the brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and pepper in a small bowl.

 Place your unwrapped ribs on a long sheet of wax paper on your counter.

Sprinkle a generous amount of your rub on the ribs.

Rub it in...

then turn it over and do the other side the same way. Then repeat on the second slab.

You might have leftover rub, depending on the size of your ribs, so if you are careful not to touch it with porky hands, you can save the rest in an airtight container for future use.

Once both racks are dry rubbed, stand them meat side out (with the meaty part up against the wall of the slow cooker), 

pour your barbecue sauce over the standing ribs, 

cover and cook on high for about 5-6 hours.

At 6 hours they will literally fall apart. If you want them to hold together a little better, just cook them for a shorter time. 

Once they're done, you can take them out of the slow cooker and baste them with some more barbecue sauce or...

you can just eat slab after slab now.  
Keep reading for a quick, easy and delicious cole slaw recipe!

This coleslaw is my rendition of Publix's Sweet Coleslaw.  Publix is a grocery chain in the South that I grew up on, but now that I am in the Pacific Northwest, I have to recreate all the things I once loved. I am super snooty about coleslaw too, but this one is so easy and a basic recipe that everyone should love.

What you'll need for about 3-4 servings:

1/2 bag of coleslaw mix (with carrots and red cabbage- or any kind you like)
Heaping 1/3 cup of mayonnaise of your choice
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 capful (about a teaspoon) of white vinegar
Pinch of salt

You'll also need:
A food processor (or something to chop the coleslaw mix)
Coverable container (or cling wrap and a regular bowl)

Start by chopping your coleslaw mix into confetti using a food processor.

In a small bowl, combine your heaping 1/3 cup of mayonnaise with...

1 tablespoon of sugar, 

a pinch of salt,

and a capful of white vinegar.

Mix it to combine well.

Then pour your coleslaw dressing over your confettied cabbage mixture

and mix it in well. Taste and re-adjust the seasoning as needed. There should be enough sweetness to counteract the bitter of the cabbage.

Cover with plastic wrap (or you can just make it in a plastic covered container if you aren't trying to create pretty pictures for a blog), and chill for at least an hour, if not longer to let the flavors meld, and let the sugar break down the cabbage a bit.

Then stir and serve cold with some delicious ribs, or maybe even burgers and hot dogs!

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