We had company this weekend: A friend from our old neighbourhood who was passing through town on his way to the airport. We wanted to serve him dinner but his travel plans meant that we'd have to eat mid-afternoon, smack in the middle of my blog cooking time. I didn't want to mess up my cooking schedule (there are so few hours of usable light at this time of year) but I did want to make something he'd enjoy, so I pulled out the slow cooker and made ribs.
This recipe has, in one form or another, made it into the repertoires of virtually every woman my age who lives in this area. It was a big thing in the 90's and, although we've all learned more scratch cooking since then it remains a fall back dish for many of us. I think it continues to be popular because it's so simple to make and because it tastes really good.
Ribs come on sale around here about three times a year and, when they do, I buy quite a quantity of them to keep in the freezer. I get coupons for Heinz chili sauce about twice a year and usually combine the coupon with a sale price to purchase several bottles for the pantry. With these two items on hand, this dish becomes an easy and affordable option for busy day meals.
To make Lazy Woman's Slow Cooker Pork Ribs, you'll need
- Pork side ribs (I cooked about 4 pounds this time)
- An equal amount each of Heinz chili sauce and marmalade (I used about 1 cup of each)
- Chili flakes
Cut the ribs into 1 or 2 rib portions and put them in the slow cooker.
Mix together the chili sauce and marmalade, heat it in the microwave for about a minute, then give it a good stir so that the marmalade loosens up and mixes through the sauce. It's okay if there are a few bits of undissolved jam.
Stir in some chili flakes to taste. (My fella is not a spicy food guy so I only added about a quarter teaspoon this time.)
Pour the sauce over the ribs and set the cooker on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. (The cooking time may vary, depending upon how "slow" your slow cooker is.)
When the ribs are done, the meat will be so tender that it can literally fall of the bones. Most of the fat will be rendered from the meat and will be floating on top of the sauce.
Transfer the ribs to a platter and put them in the microwave or a 200F oven to stay warm while you skim the fat from the top of the sauce.
Put the skimmed sauce in a gravy boat to pass at the table.
Plate the ribs on top of noodles or rice and serve them piping hot. Enjoy!