Ribs 2-Ways Part II: Tangy, Spicy Slow-Cooker Ribs

More ribs! I love this pic because you have to be a true rib lover to appreciate it.

Maybe a fallin-off-the-bone rib doesn't look particularly beautiful, but sit some in front of the person you love and they'll look like you've just handed them the Mona Lisa (or a vintage Playboy, if that's how you roll).

These ribs are so tangy...although they don't have the traditional elements of a Carolina BBQ, they definitely mirror that sweet, vinegary flavor. The next time I make them, I'll serve them as an appetizer, or with a super crisp and light salad.

The original recipe is courtesy of my parents' fabulous Wine Group--a wonderful group of friends who share their love of food, wine, and family (the fam we choose AND the one we're given) with one another and with me. [Note: Can someone comment on the original holder of this recipe? Thanks!]

Mama and I have tweaked it a bit, but it's 99% the same recipe that's shown up at a number of their gatherings and disappeared within minutes!

Maybe we should call this "Ribs 3-Ways," because I saw this SeriousEats post about Cajun Deep Fried Ribs, and just had to show you the pics. Wowza!

Tangy, Spicy Slow Cooker Ribs

1 tsp. Salt
1 chopped Onion
¼ cup Brown Sugar
¼ cup Apple Butter (my favorite thing in the world, next to my dog and Bacon)
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1/3 cup Orange Juice
1 Tbs. Steak Sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
½ cup Chili Sauce
2 Tbs. Creole Seasoning
1 Tbs. Parsley
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Oregano
4 cloves Garlic
¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. Hot Sauce
1/2-1 Rack Pork Baby Back Ribs
Oil + dash salt/pepper

Remove large pieces of fat and tendon from Ribs. You don't have to remove the skin next to the bones, because it will cook off, but you can if you prefer.

Rinse ribs, pat dry with a paper towel. Season the ribs with a dash of salt and pepper, heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat with 1 Tbs. of oil, and brown the crap out of the ribs. [DAISNAID-"do as I say, not as I do" in this pic. You should brown them more.]
Mix all the ingredients listed above. Put about ¼ of the mixture in the bottom of a crock pot and place the ribs into the crock pot. Cover with remainder of mixture and cook on high for 6 or 7 hours. If the liquid condenses too much, add 1/2 cup of water to the crock pot.

This is Foxy, my Shiba Inu/Chow mix. Right now she's thinking "Where is Grandpa? He'd give me some of those ribs!" Since it's impossible to blast you with slow-cooked rib scent as you read this, I figured that a pic of Foxy, staring hungrily at the crock pot, would give you some idea of how awesome these smell as they cook.



  1. Baby Girl. This recipe started out as a lame, lazy, sweet, attempt at making ribs without all the charcoal-smoke-heat voodo that normally is required to make great southern BBQ ribs. Momma and I perfected the recipe after many sessions of "Let's change this a little and add more spice". It is our favorite camping dish. We fire up the crock pot early in the am and drive everyone nuts while we shop for Antiques in town. "Its a tough job but somebuddys gotta duit"!

  2. hi - slightly off topic question. where did you get your shiba inu chow mix dog? i'm looking for one and cannot find any available in the DC area (i google'd 'shiba inu chow mix washington, dc' and your website showed up). btw, i may try out your rib recipe.


  3. Chris--Have you had a shiba/chow before? I just ask because I dream of getting Foxy an identical-twin friend (who she will promptly try to eat, hence the dreaming). She's sweet, loyal, and veeeery quiet, except for the cute Shiba noises she makes. The bad thing is, she's got the prey drive and door-bolting force of a 60 lb. Shiba...SCARY! I regularly check Petfinder.com, and there are a few on there right now. It's probably your best bet. Good luck and keep me posted!!

  4. thanks. we are actively searching petfinder.com. i love the way 'foxy' looks. i see more chow in her then most other shiba/chow mixes (what I'm looking for). there is one that looks like a good fit (bella from cambridge, md) but she is to visit a family tonite and may possibly be adopted by them. btw - i just joined meetup.com - there's a group of shiba owners that get together around DC. i joined it in hopes of finding some breeders/puppies. you may like it since it's a shiba group. i wont make it out until i get one!

  5. Awww, bella looks adorable. I wonder of "Meo" also has some Shiba in him? He sounds great, too. http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=12570297
    I'll def. check out the Shiba group on Meetup.com. Foxy isn't one for play dates, but it'll be nice to meet other shiba owners in the area. Maybe I'll see you on soon? I'll keep my fingers crossed.