My Mom used to make ribs when we were younger. It was a special occasion. They were meaty, tender, and messy. Oh, were they messy! We loved them, but would never eat them at a restaurant....too barbaric. When we would eat The Ribs, we'd gather at the table (a fresh package of paper napkins open), and lower the blinds lest the neighbors witness us feed like lions on the Serengeti!
I saw a recipe for slow-cooked ribs in the oven. Of course I immediately thought how I could adapt the recipe for the slow cooker. The recipe called for 6 hours in a 200-degree oven. So, I was a little concerned about over-cooking them in the slow cooker for 8-9 hours. No worries! They turned out pretty well. We've always had wet ribs, but this recipe called for a dry rub. The brown sugar, cumin and chili powder were just the right combination!
And, even better: everyone love them!
Sweet and Smoky Oven Spareribs
Adapted from Deb in the Smitten Kitchen
Servings: 2 1/2 pounds will be generous for 2 people
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoons chili powder (ancho is recommended) or paprika
1 teaspoons salt (see Note above about increasing it)
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 pounds spareribs, cut into 4 slabs, rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoons mild or hot pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika)
1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar or red or white vinegar
In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, chili powder or paprika, salt, garlic powder, cloves and cinnamon; you can do this easily with a fork. Place each slab of ribs on a piece of foil that will fit into the slow cooker. Sprinkle spice rub over the ribs, patting it in generously on all sides — you’ll be glad you did. Turn the ribs meat side down and tightly fold the foil to make sealed packets.
Place the foil packets in the slow cooker seam-side up. Cook for 8-9 hours on LOW or until a fork easily penetrates the meat.
Once finished, open each packet carefully and pour the accumulated juices into a saucepan. Boil the juices and reduce them by half, at which point you will have a syrupy sauce that easily coats a spoon. Stir in paprika and vinegar.
Remove the ribs from the foil and either coat them with the sauce or serve the sauce alongside the ribs. For extra caramelization, the ribs can be finished for a few minutes under the broiler, before being coated with sauce.