My Pops in the House!

Ladies and Gentleman, Happy Friday Feature! Coming to you now my number 1 man, my main inspiration, and where all this cooking and crocking derived from. All the way from Columbia, South Carolina my very own poppas John Kassel on Crockpottuesday!!!  (aroooooo the crowd goes wild!)

CrockPot Barbecue Ribs? Yes, Really!the_finished_ribs     The season is changing. It is getting warmer and the days longer. When I got home from work the other day, it was still light out. And it wasn’t raining! This change effects how I like to cook. As we move toward spring and summer, the grill beckons. My charcoal cooker sits on the back deck. The beautiful weather pushes me outside. But before I devote luxurious time and attention to cooking over outdoor fire, it is time for one last crockpot meal to make. My faithful crockpot has kept me warm and nourished all winter long with Susu’s delightful recipes of cranberries and pork, beef chuck roast, and of course, Boston butt. (“What’s in that bad boy!”). I love coming home from work, opening the door, and being greeted by wonderful aromas, as if someone had been cooking all day. That is the beauty of the crockpot. So, it is only fitting to present a crockpot recipe of a southern, summer favorite: BBQ ribs. Yes, ribs can be cooked in a crockpot. It is true that the iconic smoky flavor is missing. But the ease of unattended cooking and the sweet tenderness of the finished meal cannot be beat. So, for this Friday Feature, let’s talk ribs.

Cooking ribs in a crockpot could not be easier. This recipe is a little more elaborate because I am trying strenuously to make it harder than usual…trying to coax out as much flavor as possible. So, for the ingredients:

At least 3lbs to 4lbs of  ribs. The amount is really determined by the size of your crockpot. I have loaded mine up and still got good results. The choice of ribs is a matter of preference. I am using St. Louis style ribs because that was what the Publix had for sale. But you can use any sort of ribs; country-style, spare ribs, baby back ribs. They are all pork ribs but different cuts. Try different ones.                                              uncooked_ribs            Spice mixtures: Have on hand salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, brown sugar. Notice I did not list amounts. Up to you.

spices            Favorite BBQ sauce: 2-3 cups. You can make your own, or use a store bought brand. You can add it to the crockpot or put it on afterward. I tend to do the latter.

Assembly: Lay the ribs out on your counter. You can remove the membrane from back of ribs or leave it. Remove any excess fat with a sharp knife. Don’t gouge the meat. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the ribs.

patting_on_spices

You can tell if you performed the task perfectly by the telltale darkened spots on your fingertips.                                   dirty_handsPlace the seasoned ribs in the crockpot with the meat side placed up against the inside wall of the crockpot. This will help develop a fine sear on the ribs.                                ribs_in_the_crockSome folks add their BBQ sauce to the ribs before placing the ribs in the crockpot. I wait instead. I think it produces a better caramelized effect to put the sauce on later. Cook for 8-10 hours on low. You want the meat falling off the bone but still have some chew left to the meat. I tend to cook longer times because I put the crockpot up in the morning and do not return till evening after work. If you have a crockpot with a timer, set it for 8-10 hours. At the appointed time, the crockpot will automatically revert to a warming cycle. Remove ribs from the crockpot and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Smear with BBQ sauce and place in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Pull out and re-lather the ribs. Place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. The layering builds up a gorgeous looking lacquer.                             painting_sauce_on_ribsPull out the ribs and serve as bundles of 3-4 ribs. Have plenty of paper napkins around. I like sides of coleslaw, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, or corn on the cob (wait for summer). A cold beer works well.  Crockpot BBQ St. Louis style ribs. My ode to summer!

the_mama_with_ribs                     the_group_shot            Special thanks to Jim Work, master craftsman, who helped with the preparation of this meal. We enjoyed having Robert and Jane Key, who came by to help eat these beautiful ribs.

Dad you’ve done it again. Looks amazing and the pictures are beautiful. I have to say i’m intimidated to follow that!

Thanks for reading Crockheads! Whose next??