You can enjoy baby back ribs without the barbecue grill and all the sugary barbecue sauces any time of year. After all, it’s just pork 🐖. Think of some of your favorite ways to cook a pork roast or chops, and transfer those flavors to ribs.
I’m cooking mine in a slow cooker with a wet rub of garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Cooked on a bed of onions and a little chicken stock, they will make a savory dish, served with herbed rice and a vegetable.
Unless I’m making stock or cooking dried beans, my favorite way to use the slow cooker is on high for about 5-6 hours. I find that to be best for achieving results similar to roasting in the oven. You don’t need lots of liquid—sometimes none at all—and I only used 1/2 cup of chicken stock in this dish, mostly to keep the caramelizing onions from drying out, and to provide a little steam to keep the meat moist.
Unlike with barbecued ribs, I like to serve these in larger pieces, about half a rack for one person. It looks pretty impressive on the plate, not at all like summer picnic fare.
Slow Cooker Savory Ribs for Two
- 1 rack baby back ribs, about 3 lbs or smaller, back membrane removed
- 2-3 medium onions, thickly sliced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- wet rub:
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or the herb of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons mashed or grated garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (enough to mix with dry ingredients and still be spreadable)
- Scatter sliced onions over bottom of slow cooker.
- Pour in chicken stock.
- Arrange ribs, probably cut into halves to fit, over onions.
- Cover ribs with wet rub.
- Cook on high for 5 hours.
- Life carefully for serving, as they will want to fall apart.