Rather than preparing the traditional Christmas lunch consisting of roast goose or turkey or beef or whatever, my family decided to do something different this year: a potluck. I was in the mood for slow cooker ribs again, so my contribution to the holiday feast was a great tasting recipe that I found on GroupRecipes.com called, “Slow Cooker Caribbean Ribs” submitted by “Mountainmama.” This recipe features pork loin back ribs that are rubbed with a flavorful mixture of spices, slow cooked for eight or nine hours, and then coated with barbecue sauce and cooked for another hour.

Here’s what you need:

  • A 5- or 6-quart slow cooker
  • 3 lbs. of  pork loin back ribs
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups of your favorite barbecue sauce

Here’s what to do:

  • Coat the inside of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. (I used my 5-quart oval crock pot.)
  • Remove the inner skin from the ribs if desired.
  • In a small bowl, mix the dried minced onion, mustard, red pepper, allspice, cinnamon, and garlic powder.
  • Rub the spice mixture onto the ribs.
  • Cut the ribs into 4-inch pieces.
  • Layer the ribs and the sliced onion in the slow cooker; then pour the water over the ribs.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on the low heat setting for 8 to 9 hours.
  • After the cooking time has elapsed, remove the ribs from the crock pot and drain and discard the liquid from the pot. Pour the barbecue sauce into a shallow bowl; then dip the ribs into the sauce.
  • Return the ribs to the slow cooker and pour any remaining barbecue sauce over the ribs.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on the low heat setting for another hour.

One thing was clear about this recipe: I should have doubled it, because the ribs were wiped out in no time. I think that the unexpected addition of allspice and cinnamon is what really made these ribs distinctive. Everyone liked them so much that I’m thinking that I’ll probably make them again for a New Year’s Day potluck that I’ll be attending. Thanks, Mountainmama!

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