These are the thoughts of my handsome canine fella, Bowie. He doesn’t care that it’s -22°c outside, he doesn’t care that I don’t share the same insulated furry exterior as him, he just wants me to be outside with him. And when he looks at me with those big, sweet hound dog eyes, I can’t help but not care either. I lace up my gigantic Sorel boots, toss on a fur-lined jacket and mentally go to my happy place in order to stay warm.
Quelle Surprise! My happy place involves sweet, succulent pork.
Lately, as I trudge along the icy sidewalk, face frozen, convinced that my frozen fingers are now only attached to my hand by glove, I’ve been thinking about those amazing chipotle-spiced Dr Pepper ribs that won hubby & I the title of Rib Fest Champions at our friendly neighbourhood competition last summer. That’s the thing about these ribs, they are so good that they will haunt you — even on the least friendly of BBQ days.
So, my challenge has been to recreate the sweet, spicy and succulent magic of those delicious pork side ribs we enjoy SO MUCH in the summertime using the much more winter-friendly slow cooker. Challenge accepted and totally conquered!
I’m going for a classic retro look with this post, something your mama could’ve swooned over 50 years ago. Because it’s really hard to make partly boiled ribs look sexy and, let’s face it, the ’70s were a much more accepting time for food photographers.
- Two racks (untreated) pork side ribs
- 1 1/2 cup of Dr Pepper (not diet, never diet)
- 1/4 cup of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup of black pepper
- 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons of mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
- 2 teaspoons of chipotle powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
- 1/2 cup of Dr Pepper
- 1 cup of ketchup
- 1/2 cup of mustard
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of molasses
- 2 teaspoons of chipotle powder
- Remove the thin silvery membrane that connects the ribs. This membrane is chewy and unpleasant and is best to just remove. If you’re not a fan of getting down and dirty with your raw meat simply ask your butcher to help. This is their area of expertise and everyone likes an opportunity to shine at their job.
- Mix each of the rub ingredients together in a bowl and massage into the ribs. Wrap in a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of tin foil, on a plate, place in the fridge to marinade for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the ribs and gently place them into the slow cooker, on their side.
- Pour the Dr Pepper into the slow cooker (you want the liquid to come half way up the side of the rib, add a little more if needed).
- Cover and cook on high for 6 to 8 hours. (Go to work and forgeddaboutit!)
- 30 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 400°F and add each of the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan on medium heat. Bring sauce to a boil and, stirring occasionally, simmer for 20 minutes until thick and syrupy.
- Wrap the inside of 9"x13" pan with tin foil (this part gets sticky!) and move your slow cooked ribs to this pan. Pour that thick flavourful sauce you just made all over the ribs. Smother them.
- Finish ribs in the oven for 15 minutes, caramelizing the sauce on the ribs. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- No need to cut these ribs, they are so tender and moist that they will simply fall off the bones all on their own.
- Serve with rice and peas or mashed potatoes. There will be plenty of tasty sauce left over to utilize so think of starchy sides that will soak it up on your plate. Enjoy!
Yes, it is MUCH easier to be outside, walking the dog across this frozen suburban tundra, when I know that the amazing smell of these Slow Cooker Dr Pepper Ribs will be greeting me at the door when I return home. So tender and so flavourful, these ribs are a wonderful way to remind yourself and your family that winter can’t last forever — but if it does, you’ll be just fine.
— xxxxx —
What I’m Drinking:
Russian Imperial Stouts. Although some tasty labels available at the beer store, nothing compares to my husband’s amazing homebrewed stout, with aged cedar chips soaked in bourbon. It is truly amazing!
What I’m Listening to:
Keeping with the ’70s theme, how about some Mungo Jerry to get us in the summertime spirit?Add to favorites