When we decided to go in with some friends and purchase half a cow to feed our family, I was faced with learning how to cook parts of this animal that I had never before been introduced to.
One such cut was the Short Ribs. I grew up on Pork Ribs; Spare, Baby Back, or little Rib-lets, all cooked slow and low over smoky coals until the meat nearly falls of the bone. Though it was never really said, the crinkled nose and squint that my mother produced when Beef Ribs were mentioned (it sort of looked like she had just smelled sour milk), led me to believe they were some inferior, flavorless drivel in comparison to Spare Ribs.
Fast Forward a zillion years, and I have a freezer with a bunch of packages marked Short Ribs, and not a clue how to fix them, and more than a little trepidation on how they will taste.
My first attempt at cooking them came from inspiration found on a blog called The Cow Queen. Her recipe for Crock Pot Short Ribs was simply fantastic. Light, sweet, flavorful, and falling off the bone, finger licking good. I suggest you try it! It created a great gravy that was good on the grits as she cooked it or equally yummy on mashed potatoes.
Confidant now that Short Ribs could indeed be used for more than dog food, I set out to create a BBQ version of my own.
…. and here is how it goes…..
I started with 10- 12 short ribs. They were thawed enough for me to pull them apart, but they were still pretty frozen. I took 1 cup of flour and placed it in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. To the flour I added 2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper. I shook it up to combine, and added the Ribs in small batches. Shaking to coat them completely.
On the stove I heated up a few Tbsp. of Corn oil, and placed the ribs in them to brown.
While the first batch was browning, I cut up a medium sized onion and added it to the bottom of my crock pot.
At this point the kitchen is starting to smell pretty fabulous, and the kids are starting to wander in and ask what is for dinner. It is always a good thing to have them salivating over the thought of dinner at 10 in the morning .
I kept working in batches until all the ribs were coated, browned and in the pot. At one point the leftover flour that was in the oil became too dark, and was in essence burning, so I poured it out and started fresh. (So, don’t be afraid to change your oil out if you need to.)
Now for the BBQ part of the dish. It can be easy, or…. more complicated. On this day, I didn’t have any “easy” in my fridge, so it was more complicated. I will share both options with you, so you can decide what version best fits your style of cooking.
The Easy Option. ~ when the meat has been browned, pour in a 1/2 a can of coke to the bottom of the crock pot, after that, pour over a small bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. cover and cook on High for 5-6 hours.
The “What You Do When You Decide to Make BBQ Ribs and Don’t Have BBQ Sauce in the Fridge” Option ~
3-6 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. yellow Mustard
1/4 to a 1/2 cup Catsup
1/2 to a 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 cloves of garlic ~ minced
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Wisk all that up, and you have a pretty tasty BBQ sauce. Make sure you taste it and adjust the flavors to your liking. I was just randomly pouring things into a bowl and tasting as I went. The above measurements are pretty flexible, I have a friend that tells me I am like the Rat in Ratatouille, always mixing things by taste…. so make adjustments if you need to for flavoring.
Still add the 1/2 a can of coke…..Cover and Cook on High for 5-6 hours.
When it is all said and done. They will fall off the bone….. YUM!