Barbecued Ribs — Crockpot Style

Back in college I had a boyfriend whom I’ll call, “George.” He was studying to be an architect, but had he pursued it, I really believe he would have been a damn fine chef. George was a whiz in the kitchen. He was master at creating simple, tasty dishes on a slim budget. For example, he could take a boring, frozen pizza, pile on his own freshly made toppings, and turn it into a gourmet meal.

One of George’s signature dishes was his short ribs. He’d simply dump them into a crock pot, pour in a bottle of barbecue sauce, and cook them on low for eight hours. They came out so tender that the meat fell right off the bone. Back then neither one of us had access to an outdoor grill, but George’s ribs sure satisfied our yen for barbecue.

Being a good cook myself, I’ve tweaked his recipe, ever so slightly. With food prices the way they are these days, short ribs are like gold, but their ugly cousin, the back rib, is cheaper, flavorful, and works nicely in a crock pot. I simply stack them in, with a little barbecue sauce between the layers, and then add a little sauce on the top, but I don’t use anymore than a quarter to a half of the bottle. The sauce becomes watery as it cooks, so less sauce means less mess and a richer barbeque flavor. It also means some the meat on the top will get a little drier, but it will also have more of the consistency of meat that’s been grilled or broiled. Set the cooker on low, wait about seven or eight hours, and you’ll have yourself a tasty meal. I like to serve mine with scalloped potatoes or baked beans. Or both.

Enjoy.

GM