July 06, 2012

Ribs so good you'll want to marry them

I've been eating ribs all of my life. Cooking them, too, for a good part of it, notably the years I spent as a su chef. In any event, it's never as simple as grilling something slathered in cheap sauce. The best ribs are marinated and slowly cooked, or steamed, or braised before grilling. Sometimes you can neglect the grilling like, say, when it's 100+ degrees outside. Fahrenheit, not Celsius. Thank goodness.

Anyhoo, what follows are some of the best ribs you'll ever eat. Even better, you cook them in a slow cooker/Crock Pot ™ so you don't have to worry about burning them. Best of all, my kids love them, which means I HAVE to make them on a regular basis. Yeah, I know: I'm a giver.

Thai-Style Ribs

3-1/2 pounds pork baby back ribs, racks cut in half (Note: I usually double the ribs as I have the large slow cooker. Be sure to double the marinade as well.)

1 (11.5 ounce can frozen orange-pineapple-apple juice - If you can't find this, you can substitute half a can of orange and pineapple-apple, or orange-pineapple and apple; I forget, but it shouldn't matter much)

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup minced cilantro

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (don't forget to peel it first)

1 clove garlic, pressed

2 teaspoons sugar


Place ribs in a large Ziploc bag. I usually double bag them for safety reasons.

Combine juice concentrate and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl with a wire whisk. Work hard to mix in the peanut butter. Reserve 3/4 cup mixture in fridge for dipping. Pour remaining mixture over ribs in Ziploc bag. Carefully squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Enclose it in another bag, just in case it leaks. Trust me on this.

Chill for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Be sure to turn the ribs after a few hours so that the marinade soaks into all of the meat.

Remove ribs from marinade, discarding marinade. Place 1 rack of ribs in the bottom of your slow cooker; stand remaining ribs around the edges of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW and cook 5 hours.

Microwave reserved 3/4 cup sauce for 1 minute, or until heated to desired temperature, stirring once. Serve with ribs. Garnish with cilantro is desired; I usually omit this step because the green is just in the way of the ribs.

Posted by Physics Geek at July 6, 2012 10:22 PM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Probably a dumb question, but why dispose of the marinade? Why not just put it in the slow cooker with the ribs?

Posted by: Harvey at July 7, 2012 01:10 AM

Hi Harvey. If you put the marinade in, the ribs boil/steam. The meat texture becomes, um, interesting. Tastes okay, but it isn't how you want the ribs to turn out. Trust me on this one.

Posted by: physics geek at July 7, 2012 09:08 AM

I forgot to mention in my comment at my site just now that besides the fact I can't get baby back pork ribs here, also there's no peanut butter in Italy. WHAT THE?

Every time I ask about it, people say, "Nutella. Nutella. Nutella" like insane drones. It's not the same, by a long shot. Jeesh.

Still, I'm not defeated. I'm going to print this out, and when I'm at my parents' house this September (they have an awesome outdoor grill setup), I'm totally making this recipe. Thanks for posting it.

Posted by: Rachel Lucas at July 9, 2012 07:15 AM

Rachel, Make your own peanut butter. You should be able to get roasted peanuts, just grind them in a food processor, maybe add a LITTLE bit of oil. Be patient, do not add oil until it bogs down.
However Nutela would be an interesting substitute.

Posted by: VonZorch at July 11, 2012 02:05 PM