Cheap Recipe: Slow-Cooker Boneless Pork Ribs

11 Aug

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

No bones about it--these ribs are delicious!

No bones about it--these ribs are delicious!

This is a great rainy-weather dish when the barbecue grill just isn’t an option. These moist, citrus-flavored pork ribs are an adaptation of a recipe I once found in a Pillsbury publication, but over the course of several years I’ve altered it several times until it has become its own specialty of mine. All ingredients in this version should be easy to locate at small discount markets.

Begin with approximately 2 to 3 lbs. boneless, country-style pork ribs, available prepackaged at the meat counter at most grocery stores. Make sure ribs are fully thawed before actual cook time.

Use a covered glass bowl for preparations if not cooking right away.

Use a covered glass bowl for preparations if not cooking right away.

 If preparing this recipe the evening before cooking (like I usually do), place ingredients in a covered glass bowl overnight rather than directly in the removable slow cooker pot. You can transfer the mixture into the room-temperature slow cooker pot right befor heating in the morning. The reason you shouldn’t prepare ahead in the slow cooker is because setting a chilled ceramic pot directly in the heating element the next morning can cause the slow cooker’s glazing to craze, leaving it vulnerable to swelling and eventual cracking. This recipe doesn’t save you any money or time if you have to stop and go buy a new Crock Pot when you get done!

IMG_3520Over the raw ribs, grate either 2 fresh limes or 1 fresh lemon or orange. (It really doesn’t matter which you use–you’re just wanting some sort of citrus zest in there. I used 2 limes simply because they were ripe and available at the time of my shopping trip.) Once all of the peel has been grated, slice open the citrus fruit and squeeze approximately 2 tablespoons of juice over the pork strips. This will help tenderize the rib meat.

Dice half an onion into very small pieces and add to the mixture. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 tsp. garlic powder. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar.

Cover the meat entirely with about 1 cup barbecue sauce. (For tips on cooking with generic barbecue sauce, click here.) Stir ingredients well and pour 1 can cola or diet cola over the entire mixture. Stir again until mixture has an even, slightly thin consistency.

I actually used cherry cola this time instead of regular because it was all I had on hand. It came out just as yummy as always!

I actually used cherry cola this time instead of regular because it was all I had on hand. It came out just as yummy as always!

If preparing the night before, cover bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight before transferring to slow cooker. If ready to cook, ingredients should already be in slow cooker pot and ready to go.

Cover slow cooker and heat on LOW setting approximately 8 hours or until meat is tender and evenly darkened. Because meat is boneless, it can be served by itself or with hamburger buns for a deliciously moist barbecue sandwich.

The cooked ribs will appear much darker than these raw ones. Pork will be a uniform reddish-brown when ready to eat.

The cooked ribs will appear much darker than these raw ones. Pork will be a uniform reddish-brown when ready to eat.

Refrigerate leftovers (if there are any!)–the ribs are just as tasty served cold as they are straight out of the Crock Pot!

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