Monday, 28 December 2015

Barbecue Ribs (Slow Cooker Method) 烤排骨


If you are a connoisseur of good barbecue ribs, you really ought to give this a go. These ribs are as good as those found in restaurants.The best part is, you don't have to barbecue or bake your ribs for hours to get that fall-off-the bones effect. All you need is a reliable slow cooker (also known as crock pot). It is totally stress-free and there is absolutely no need to babysit your ribs while it is cooking. As a busy mom, this method is a God's gift. You would need about 5 minutes to prep, then maybe another minute maximum for you to bring your ribs from the fridge to the slow cooker. By the time you get back from work in the evening, the ribs would be screaming, "eat me" to your hungry stomach. Just finish it off with a 15-minutes bake/grill. I guarantee you would be hearing rave reviews.





This barbecue ribs recipe requires you to first marinate the ribs and then slow cook it in barbecue sauce. When you are ready to eat, just transfer it to the oven to caramelise the sauce to get that oh-so-tempting glaze. My philosophy of a good barbecue is simple: it must be aptly flavoured, it must be aromatic enough to fill up the kitchen and lastly, it must have that most glorious sticky glaze. And this recipe sums it up. I used simple and familiar ingredients for this barbecue ribs. Things like onion and garlic powder, which I seldom use, are replaced with the real stuff, minced into pulp. It gives you a more intense aroma besides the extra savings! You just have to keep your ribs very dry for it to absorb the additional liquid from the marinade.


I was skeptical initially, but after trying this method, I am totally sold. My first try using this method was a great success. The idea is to get the meat to cook slowly to retain its moisture, making it tender and juicy. I am thrilled with this new-found use for my under-utilised slow cooker. I love it so much I have done barbecue ribs thrice ever since. For those who do not have a slow cooker, you could also slow-bake this, covered, in the oven for about 2-3 hours (depending on how tender you want your ribs to be). The cooking time might vary but the result is just as gorgeous. It might be a bit of a surprise but I actually like my barbecue ribs tender but not falling off the bones. This way, the meat would still maintain a little texture and flavour.

As for the barbecue sauce, I kept it simple with easy to find ingredients. It is really not difficult to come out with your own barbecue sauce. Just keep the sauce thick, sweet, with a hint of tanginess as base. Then you can add layers of flavours according to your liking using herbs and spices. Ignore this step and buy your favourite sauce if you are too lazy to make. I would recommend hoisin sauce as a replacement.

The last step of baking/grilling is most important. It is the ultimate touch that separates mediocre barbecue ribs from that smashing mouth-watering succulent bite. This is the step whereby your sauce gets thickened and caramelised to give you that sticky sugary glaze. If you are adventurous, have it slightly charred to bring out more flavour. After all, it is supposed to be a barbecue. The whole baking process also helps to elevate the scent of whiskey, garlic and shallots. Truly amazing!

Barbecue Ribs (Slow Cooker Method) 烤排骨

Ingredients

1 kg pork ribs

Marinade

1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp chilli powder
20 g garlic
20 g onion
20 g ginger


Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup/honey
20 ml vinegar
60 ml whiskey
20 g shallot, minced
20 g garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
4 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp dried oregano (optional)
1 tbsp oil

Saute minced ginger, shallot and garlic in oil. Add other ingredients except whiskey and simmer until sauce thickens. When sauce becomes really thick, add whiskey and continue to simmer until the consistency of tomato paste. Remove from fire and set aside to cool.


Cooking Instructions

1.Wash and squeeze dry the ribs. Then use kitchen towel to completely dry up the ribs. Remove membrane from the back of the spareribs. If you have trouble removing all the membrane, score the remaining membrane so that the marinade gets through.





2. Mix together the dry ingredients in marinade and rub on the ribs on both sides. Slather the minced ginger, garlic and onion generously on the ribs. Roll up the ribs and let it marinade for at least 2 hours. I did mine overnight.





3. Put the ribs into the slow cooker standing. Pour the barbecue sauce (saving about 1/4 for later) around the ribs. If you are using store bought, I would recommend the Asian hoisin sauce.

4. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours according to the degree of tenderness you want on your ribs. Cooking time also varies with the slow cooker used. As I like my ribs still intact and not completely fall off the bones, I did mine for slightly under 7.

5. Preheat oven to 190C. Transfer the ribs to an aluminium foil line baking pan. Brush ribs with the remaining sauce. Bake for 15 mins or until your ribs are caramelised and aromatic. Remove and serve whole or cut into pieces.






Also check out my Crispy Baked Chicken Wings in Hoisin Sauce:

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