With more than 60 recipes for down-home favorites, ranging from Chicken and Cornmeal Dumplings to Buffalo Stout Beer Chili to Brown Beans and Fatback, The Southern Slow Cooker (Ten Speed Press, 2013) is packed with real Southern flavor. Author Kendra Bailey Morris presents regional classics from all over the South: church potlucks, Cajun and Creole traditions in the bayou, even her West Virginia granny's old recipe book. The following Pork Ribs Recipe With Raspberry Sorghum Barbecue Sauce is excerpted from chapter 2, “Low and Slow Meats.”
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Pork Ribs Recipe With Raspberry Sorghum Barbecue Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 racks of pork spareribs or one large rack (about 4 pounds), trimmed
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (blackberries may be substituted)
2 small cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sorghum syrup, unsulfured light molasses, or honey
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper
Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
Mix all your dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Cut the ribs into 2- to 3-rib portions to fit inside the slow cooker. Generously rub the ribs with the spice mixture and stand them up against the walls of the slower cooker, thicker ends down. Cover and cook on low for at least 5 hours and up to 7 hours, until the ribs are tender but still firm enough to hold up on the grill without falling apart; be careful not to overcook them.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine in a blender the raspberries, garlic, onion, brown sugar, sorghum syrup, ketchup, cider vinegar, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Purée well. Strain the sauce through a sieve (pressing it out well) into a saucepan and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. (Note: You can skip straining the sauce through a sieve if you don’t mind the seeds.)
Once the ribs have finished cooking, preheat a grill to medium-high.
Baste the ribs generously with the sauce and grill them until nice and crispy and caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes per side; be careful not to let them burn. Alternatively, sauce the ribs inside the slow cooker and continue cooking on high, as mentioned in the headnote. Serve the ribs with any extra sauce on the side and lots of napkins. Serves 4 to 6.
To drink: A fruity beer, such as a Lambic; or Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s Virginia Blackberry from Richmond, Virginia.
Note: Trimming Ribs: An easy way to remove the tough membrane form a rack of spareribs is to gently slide a butter knife underneath the membrane to release it. Then, grab the membrane with a paper towel and start pulling it back, working it away from the bone.
Reprinted with permission from The Southern Slow Cooker by Kendra Bailey Morris, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Erin Kunkel © 2013. Buy this book from our store: The Southern Slow Cooker.