Sometimes you try a recipe and think, hey, this is pretty good…but it could be better. It’s tasty enough, but immediately on the first bite, those foodie gears start turning and you can’t help but think of ways to improve it. It’s a recipe with hidden potential.
That’s what happen this recipe. A couple weeks back, my grocery store had a great sale on boneless country style pork ribs. It’s not a cut a typically buy, mostly because I worry about them being tough. But since it was a such a great deal, and I’m always up for something new a different, I snatched them up and then searched out a way to prepare them in the crockpot. Turning tough cuts of meat into tender morsels of yumminess is what the crockpot does best! 🙂
I loved the flavor combo in the sauce for these ribs, sort of sweet and spicy with a bit of an Asian flair. But I found adding all the sauce at the beginning of cooking resulted in a dryer texture at the end. I like my ribs wet an’ saucy, I guess. Heh. Next time, I’ll reserve half the sauce to add to the crockpot just before serving. Also, you’ll notice there’s no real cooking liquid added to the crock. I think this is a mistake. There needs to be a least a tiny bit of liquid to keep the meat from drying out. I didn’t find the meat to be overly dry without the liquid, but the ribs did not get as tender as I think the would have if there was a bit of liquid. Next time, I’ll add just a bit of beef broth to bottom of the crock, not enough to cover the meat, but just enough to keep the cooking environment moist. I made both of these changes to the recipe below.
SLOW COOKED SESAME COUNTRY STYLE RIBS (Recipe adapted from: About.com)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 to 4 pounds boneless country style pork ribs (I only used about 1.5 pounds. This was enough for two with a some leftovers. I would still make all the sauce though)
- 1/2 cup of water or low-sodium beef broth
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion, with green
- Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Pour about half the mixtured into an airtight container, refrigerate until ready to use.
- Line bottom of slow cooker with onions. Add water or broth. Place ribs in sauce and turn to coat. Add to slow cooker on top of onions and pour sauce over ribs.
- Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Pour reserved sauce over ribs and cook until just heated through. Place ribs on serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion.
One year ago: Tomato Soup with Pasta and Basil – This is delicious! Use up those summer tomatoes and fufill that fall soup craving all at the same time!