Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Slow Cooked (and Grilled) Barbecue Ribs

Last summer I had a lot of time to test out new recipes, and one of the things I did was try out making ribs for the first time.  I never thought about making ribs at home- I always pictured it as something really complicated that you should only order at Chili's.  What I found was, they aren't the easiest things to make, but definitely doable and SO delicious.  In the summertime, I always cook these on the grill the whole time, which takes about 1-2 hours.  But, when it is warm outside, I don't mind being out there at the grill!  Well, this winter I discovered another method to get almost the same result (of course, grilling is always best!).  I started cooking them in the slow cooker for a few hours (instead of slow cooking them on the grill) and then finishing them off on the grill.  Luckily, daylight savings time just happened and it is still light out at 7 PM for grilling.  Also, I got home from work today fairly early and had plenty of time to get these going (FYI- these take some time, so it's not an everyday meal kind of thing).  So it was a perfect night for ribs!

You can see below how I made my ribs tonight, but you can use any method that works best- slow cooker or grill or a combination.  One thing that always stays consistent: the "dry" rub is fabulous.  I got the recipe here, but I made one change (honey instead of sugar) to make it Paleo.  Hope you love these as much as we do!  Here is what I did:

Slow Cooked (and Grilled) Barbecue Ribs
(serves about 3)
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 t raw honey
  • 2 t orange zest
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 t cumin
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper (or more if wanted)
  • 1 slab baby back ribs, cut into 4-rib portions (or whatever size you want)
  • homemade Paleo barbecue sauce
Combine paprika, honey, orange zest, salt, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. It will be a little sticky because of the honey.  Rub it all over both sides of the rib slabs until coated.  (You can let them marinade for a few hours if you have time, but it's not critical).  Place in the slow cooker on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 4-6 hours.  OR you can cook them on a grill over LOW heat for 1-2 hours, flipping every 20 minutes are so.  HINT: the longer and slower they cook, the better the flavor.  You do NOT want the ribs to char on the grill until the end so keep it low!  I like to put the ribs on the opposite side of the grill as the flame so you just get the heat without the charring.

Once the ribs are cooked (on the low-heat grill or in the slow cooker), turn the grill on to medium heat.  Brush the ribs on both sides with the barbecue sauce.  Place them on the grill curved-side up.  Try not to place them right over a flame or they may char too much.  Grill them for 5 minutes on each side, and baste them with more sauce each time you flip them.  I like to cook them two times on each side (20 min total).  If they start to char too much, turn down the heat or move them away from the flame.  You want some char but not too much!

Tonight I served these with Mashed Sweet Potatoes, but they are also amazing with corn on the cob (I know- not Paleo!) or a fresh tomato salad, especially in the summer time.  As I said, I love these in the summer on the grill for a few hours, but you can still enjoy them in the winter!  Hope you love the recipe too!

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