We have tried lots of different ways to cook ribs over the last few years. I finally managed to cook some tender, melting, more-ish ribs yesterday and it was really easy! No more worrying about marinating for hours, parboiling, pre-browning, arranging them on a rack over a pan of water, etc! In a nutshell, all I did was:
- Put the ribs in a bag with some sauce (more about that later), just enough to coat thickly. The bag keeps the sauce nicely surrounding the meat. I did this in the morning and put it in the fridge.
- About mid-day, I put them in the slow cooker on low. The ribs were ready to eat by about 6 or 7 pm but we didn’t get around to having dinner until 8. If you want to make this recipe by putting the ribs in the cooker in the morning before you go to work, then you probably should add about a half-cup of water to make sure the dish stays moist for the longer cooking period (or maybe just double your sauce!)
- Browned briefly in the oven just before serving, but I think this was actually unnecessary. I only tried it because of a recipe that I read. They tasted great over rice with some of the sauce spooned over. (This is the other great thing about this recipe – the marinade doesn’t go to waste, and gets reduced to a delicious sauce.)
The sauce I used was just a splash of vermouth, plus a motley crew of five dollops each squirted from five different bottled sauces: ketchup, teriyaki sauce, peri-peri sauce, kecap manis, and oyster sauce. I also included some finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves). This just goes to prove that you can totally make it up. Mainly you are aiming to have some sort of alcohol (I normally use bourbon but we ran out), some tomato-ish flavor, and a bit of sugar content as well, and the rest of the flavor is up to your imagination. I also usually make sure to include a splash of oil in my marinades but since the ribs are so fatty I didn’t worry about it in this case.
I have read in other sources that slow cooking anything fatty like these ribs ensures that the fat becomes delicious rather than disgustingly greasy, and I can certainly attest that’s what happened in this dish.