Monday, February 23, 2015

Crock Pot “Mom’s Fall-Off-The-Bone BBQ Ribs”





My Mom didn’t actually use a crock pot, her original recipe was using an oven (which I have also posted, its listed under “Entrees”).  But I love to use my crock pot.   Since Mom was always the one famous for her “Fall Off The Bone” ribs, I adapted her style of rib cooking to suit a slow cooker, but in a way so they still come out caramelized in the end.  Slow cookers get meat VERY tender…   But they can make BBQ sauce quite watery, and thus not really coated with much sauce-- because they cause the meat to release soooooo much natural juices.  It all tends to run off the meat.   So this recipe involves doing 98% of the cooking in the crock pot, then broiling the ribs with extra sauce in the oven for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce.  Perfect!

Crock Pot “Mom’s Fall-Off-The-Bone BBQ Ribs”

Ingredients:
1 rack beef or pork baby back ribs (or as many as you want)
Your favorite spice rub (about 1 heaping tsp. per rack)
You favorite BBQ sauce (enough for all your ribs)

Directions:
1.       Remove the rough membrane from the ribs (it’s the thin, white, tough layer along the bottom curved side of the ribs).  Dig your fingers under the membrane, and peel it away.  This membrane is what makes ribs so tough and chewy.  You don’t want that. 
2.       Take your favorite spice rub, and rub about a teaspoon of it over the rack of ribs (or each rack, if you’re doing more than one).  
3.       Line your crock pot with a “slow cooker liner” to protect it from the mess of the BBQ sauce.
4.       Lay your rib rack(s) in the crick pot, top side facing up.   Drizzle BBQ sauce generously over the top of the rack(s).  If doing more than one rack, layer them and coat in sauce one at a time.  You do not need to add any liquids.  Crock pots cause meat to produce A LOT of natural liquids and juices.  Adding extra liquids can make it far too watery.  Put some extra sauce on the top rack, if doing more than one.
5.       Place the lid on the crock pot tightly and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.  Meat should easily come away from the bone with a fork. 
6.       When they are finished, carefully remove the ribs and place them on a baking sheet, lined with foil.  You may need a very sturdy spatula for this, because the ribs will be very tender and can break apart very easily. 
7.       Brush ribs with an extra, generous coating of BBQ sauce. 
8.       Turn on the broiler setting in your oven and place oven rack on its highest level.  Put the ribs (on the baking pan) under the broiler, until the sauce caramelizes.  This will happen quickly, so keep a close watch.  Pull the ribs out to check them frequently.   When they are as dark as you like, remove them from the oven and serve with your favorite side. 

Mom’s Fall-Off-The-Bone BBQ Ribs





My Mom was always famous for her way of cooking ribs, because they came out VERY tender.  And coated in caramelized BBQ sauce.  You could easily pull them apart by hand, or cut them apart with a fork.  They were delicious!  She used bone-in baby back ribs mostly, but also sometimes boneless country-style ribs.   Beef or pork, depending what was on sale.   Some people boil them, but she figured out a way to make them come out fork-tender without boiling—covering them and slow-baking them, via 2 different temperatures.  This recipe is more about the cooking method.  Not so much the ingredients.  There is a lot of room for "your own personal preferences", and it works regardless of what spices and sauces you prefer.  If you have family members who love ribs, give this a try!

Mom’s Fall-Off-The-Bone BBQ Ribs
 


Ingredients:

1 rack beef or pork baby back ribs (or as many as you want)
Your favorite spice rub (about 1 heaping tsp. per rack)
You favorite BBQ sauce (enough for all your ribs)

Directions:
1.        Remove the rough membrane from the ribs (it’s the thin, white, tough layer along the bottom curved side of the ribs).  Dig your fingers under the membrane, and peel it away.  This membrane is what makes ribs so tough and chewy.  You don’t want that. 
2.       Take your favorite spice rub, and rub about a teaspoon of it over the rack of ribs (or each rack, if you’re doing more than one).  
3.       Line a baking sheet with foil (with slightly raised sides all the way around) with foul.   Lightly grease foil, or use cooking spray. 
4.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and place ribs in the oven.  Allow the meat to brown on both sides for about 20 minutes, turning over when needed. 
5.       Take ribs out and use your favorite BBQ sauce to brush BOTH sides of the ribs.  Return the ribs to the 350 degree oven, for about 20 minutes.  Or until the sauce begins to caramelize, but not brown.   Turn them over halfway through.
6.       Add another generous amount of sauce to the top of the ribs.   Make sure the top of the ribs are facing up (the raised, rounded part).  Cover them with foil.  Keep the foil low, but try not to let it touch the ribs.  Seal the foil TIGHTLY all the way around.   The big trick to this is to not let the steam escape, or else the ribs will be dry. 
7.       TURN THE OVEN DOWN TO 250 DEGREES.   This is important, because if the heat is too high, the sauce will burn.   Put the ribs back in the 250 degree oven, and set your alarm/timer for 2 hours.   Check the ribs after 2 hours, by poking them with a fork (only lift the corner of the foil, and be careful not to let the steam burn you!).  The meat should pull off the bone easily with a fork.   If not, return it to the oven and continue baking, checking every 20 minutes until ribs are “fork tender”.  If you are doing more than one rack, you may need 3 or 4 hours of cooking time.  Move the time up to accommodate the number of racks you have. 
8.       Remove ribs from the oven.  Let stand 5 minutes and serve with your favorite sides. 

Crock Pot Café Rio Chicken






Special note about all crock pot recipes—Cooking with a crock pot is a fun and easy way to prepare endless varieties of delicious meals.  It is also more healthy than many alternate cooking methods.    Contrary to common assumptions, the crock pot IS NOT just for soups, stews or roasts.   There are amazingly creative people out there who have come up with very clever ways to cook almost anything in one single crock pot, all at the same time.  Everything from “steak and baked potatoes with corn on the cob”, to lasagna, to sweet and sour pork, to excellent taco fillings.  You can also pick a few dinner recipes, put all the RAW ingredients in a gallon freezer bag, seal out the air and freeze them so you can toss them in the crock pot any day of the week. 



Crock Pot Café Rio Chicken

Ingredients:

4 to 6 chicken breasts
½ cup water
2 large cloves garlic chopped
1 packet dry powdered ranch seasoning (or 3 tablespoons measured dry)
1/2 small bottle zesty Italian dressing
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon cumin

Directions:

1.  Place all ingredients in your crock pot and blend well.
2.  Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.  Serve.

SERVING TIPS:
1.  Shred meat, serve over tortillas with a layer of re-fried beans, or over lettuce (as a salad) topped with cilantro, sour cream, avocado and tomato.   

Crock Pot Balsamic Glazed Drumsticks





Special note about all crock pot recipes—Cooking with a crock pot is a fun and easy way to prepare endless varieties of delicious meals.  It is also more healthy than many alternate cooking methods.    Contrary to common assumptions, the crock pot IS NOT just for soups, stews or roasts.   There are amazingly creative people out there who have come up with very clever ways to cook almost anything in one single crock pot, all at the same time.  Everything from “steak and baked potatoes with corn on the cob”, to lasagna, to sweet and sour pork, to excellent taco fillings.  You can also pick a few dinner recipes, put all the RAW ingredients in a gallon freezer bag, seal out the air and freeze them so you can toss them in the crock pot any day of the week.  


Crock Pot Balsamic Glazed Drumsticks

Ingredients:
8 chicken drumsticks (skin removed)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or olive oil)
½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce (for gluten free, use Tamari)
1 tablespoon honey
Sesame seeds and chopped green onion for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1.  Place all ingredients in your crock pot, blend well. 
2.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve with rice, and/or your favorite vegetable side (you can steam vegetables by wrapping them in foil and placing them on top of the chicken during cooking).  Top with sesame seeds and chopped green onion, if desired.