I recently wrote about being intimidated by the prospect of cooking baby back ribs. The day before writing that post, I’d cracked open an old crockpot cookbook I hadn’t used in over a year. In it I found a recipe for Honey Ribs. Aha! I’d thought. The crockpot is foolproof! No skill required! After all these years, I was brave enough to purchase a rack of ribs at the grocery store.
First lesson from the experience: The crockpot is not foolproof. Yesterday morning, I gathered the ingredients to throw in the crockpot before work. I…had…no…honey.
How does one make HONEY ribs without honey? It’s like mac ‘n cheese without cheese. Cherry pie without cherries.
So I had two problems. One, I had no honey for my HONEY ribs. Two, I had nothing else to cook for dinner. With a pessimistic sigh, I retrieved the brown sugar from the pantry and decided it would be the understudy to my missing honey. Because, you know, the consistency is pretty much identical. (NOT.)
In the end, there was good news and bad news. The good news: the meat itself was cooked to perfection. It was tender and delicious.
The bad news: none of the other ingredients—beef consommé, barbecue sauce, dry mustard, maple syrup, or that blasted brown sugar—could be tasted. Not at all. The husband and I ended up smothering the ribs in Famous Dave’s barbecue sauce. Then they were pretty damn tasty.
While the recipe itself left something to be desired—aided, no doubt, by my failure to purchase honey before planning honey ribs—we both really enjoyed the end result. My husband’s great idea is that next time (because there will definitely be a next time), I’ll throw them in the crockpot before work one day, and he’ll take them out when he gets home in the afternoon, lather them up with barbecue sauce, and finish them in the oven until dinnertime.
The end verdict is that I can only laugh at how nervous I was about cooking baby back ribs. My fear was not about the flavor so much as it was about the actual meat. And that part was fantastic! Check one off the list for 2015 cooking milestones!
Anyone know of any crockpot rib recipes that actually pack a decent punch of flavor? If so, I’d love for you to share!