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
- 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
- Pat the ribs dry and season both sides with the salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat until smoking.
- Add the oil and swirl to coat. Brown the ribs on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side, until deep golden brown.
- Move the ribs to a plate and pour the oil out of the pan, then deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water.
- Make the apple cider rib sauce by combining all ingredients in a sauce pan and bringing to a boil over medium heat.
- 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.
- 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.
- When the ribs are almost done cooking, preheat the broiler.
- Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Place a rack in the pan and spray with nonstick spray.
- 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.
- Brush again with sauce when the ribs come out of the broiler.
- Reserve the remaining sauce from the slow cooker and serve with the ribs.