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Slow Cooked Country Style Ribs with Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce

Apple and ribs are a natural pairing. In this recipe, Angry Orchard Crisp Apple adds a bright apple sweetness to the dish, which also helps to cut some of the spice and heat. The hard cider also promotes a nice caramelization of the meat.

Serves 4 Adults

Ingredients (ribs):

  • 4 lbs country-style pork ribs
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • ¾ Cup Apple Cider Rib Sauce

Ingredients (apple cider rib sauce):

  • 2 Cups Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
  • 3 Cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Cups ketchup
  • 1 Cup yellow mustard
  • ½ Cup molasses
  • ½ Cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ Cup honey, preferably sourwood
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Pat the ribs dry and season both sides with the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large skillet over high heat until smoking.
  3. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Brown the ribs on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side, until deep golden brown.
  4. Move the ribs to a plate and pour the oil out of the pan, then deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water.
  5. Make the apple cider rib sauce by combining all ingredients in a sauce pan and bringing to a boil over medium heat.
  6. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and blend with a hand held immersion blender until smooth. Reserve until ready to use, and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 months.
  7. Mix the sauce, pan juices, and any juices from the rib plate in a large slow cooker. Add the ribs, cover, and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours or low for 4 hours.
  8. When the ribs are almost done cooking, preheat the broiler.
  9. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Place a rack in the pan and spray with nonstick spray.
  10. Transfer the ribs to the rack and brush with the sauce from the slow cooker. Broil until brown and crusty, about 3 minutes on each side.
  11. Brush again with sauce when the ribs come out of the broiler.
  12. Reserve the remaining sauce from the slow cooker and serve with the ribs.