Mar
01
2011

  Slow-Cooked Beef Ribs

My mother recommended cooking barbecue in my new crock-pot when I complained about not yet finding any recipes I liked (except for that pie-filling & cake dessert, which I make once a month now). As it happened, I had to make a quick trip to the grocery store when we got into town yesterday (we used up all the milk before we went to FL) and beef ribs were on sale.

I had intended to start the ribs this morning, but W and I wound up getting tired early and were asleep for our nap before 11:30am. I didn't get the ribs into the cooker until around 2pm, so they weren't ready in time for dinner.

But they were ready by the time I needed my evening meal around 9pm. I used to eat snack foods or desserts for this meal, until my midwives reminded me of the bad consequences I'd get from keeping that up. So now I aim for something generally healthier, and I figured ribs would do just fine.

And it was SO EASY! The most difficult part was getting the meat out of its air-tight sealed plastic packaging (I actually got frustrated with that and T came to my rescue before I threw the rack across the room). All I did was cut the rack in half so it would fit in the cooker, season the meat on both sides with salt & pepper, and put it in the crock-pot. Then I squirted the meaty sides of the meat with a generous slathering of barbecue sauce (I probably used about 1/2 cup for 84 square inches of meat), set the cooker on low, fastened the lid, and walked away. Seven hours later, the delicious aroma made its way all the way upstairs so I knew it must be done. Of course, I had to eat some to be sure, but I'll be coming back to this "recipe".

If you're going to try this, one more bit of technique that might be relevant-- I put the ribs in so that the bones were upright, each side leaning into the middle so I could still get the lid on. I had been wondering where all the rendered fat would go if I cooked the meat in a crock-pot rather than on a rack in the oven, so I put the meat up so at least it wouldn't be completely cooked in its own fat. There was several inches of liquid in the bottom of the pot, although I'm not sure how much was liquified barbecue sauce and how much was rendered beef fat. Regardless, I was happy with the results from having the meat still on the bone suspended above all that.

But it was SO easy to prepare, I think I will go back to the grocery store to see if they still have these big beef racks on sale, and I'll get some for the freezer. Once b2 is born, this is still a meal that I'll be able to cook no matter how enervated I feel. It requires less than five minutes of prep, and I can cook enough for several meals in that time.