Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Winter Stick to the Ribs and Potatoes

Two snowy storms in one week, and once again, the snow blower decides to have a massive heart attack and die. We had it fixed, it started up fine when tested in the fall, but try putting it to work, and it decides to go on strike, or simply die.  This is not a first-time occurrence with a snow blower; in fact, it seems to be part of its nature.  We have tried different brands that use gas, electric, or a combination thereof, and finally one repair person stated, “You seem to keep buying snow blowers that don’t like the cold!”  So, while my hubby is shoveling, I am in the kitchen making sure there is hot coffee in the brewer, and prepping hot meals as well.

Back in November, leftover turkey meat was cleaned of skin and bones, put into a freezer bag, and now pulled out to make; you guessed it, Turkey Strata.  I gave this recipe to you back in November of 2017, and it is easily found on my food blog, or in the archives of the San Juan Record.  However, this recipe requires that the casserole sit overnight, so all ingredients can fully meld with each other before baking.  Roy is working his butt off now, and he had been grumbling about, “Why can’t it be summer again, and Mary cooking up brats and ribs on the barbecue!?!” days ahead.  I took the hint, defrosted a slab of Prairie Fresh pork ribs (new item at Blue Mountain Foods, and they are a great product), and pulled out the 6-quart crock pot.  Ribs, in a crock pot?  I have written about this cooking technique before, so do not act so surprised; and I bet you tried it out, but too embarrassed to admit it.  Anyway…

Oh, to make it even more interesting, last minute holiday shopping, I bagged, get it, bagged, a 3-pound bag of blue potatoes.  Now, now, stop with the faces.  These potatoes are actually quite tasty, and when combined with the ribs cooking in the crock pot, they pick up the flavors of the seasonings.  Blue potatoes have the same amount of carbs as the simple white potato, but are healthier for you.  The blue signifies a high level of flavonoids which are antioxidants:  help protect blood vessels from rupture or leakage; enhance the power of vitamin C; protect cells from oxygen damage; prevent excessive inflammation throughout the body.

Usually when using cut potatoes in the crock pot, they need to be parboiled to ensure they cook evenly and thoroughly.  Not with blue potatoes as they are very moist inside, as compared to a regular white potato.   The potatoes cook up perfectly; tender, full of flavor from the seasonings, and you could taste the salt, but not be overpowered by it.  The onions become soft and oh so sweet; it is hard not to pick them all out to eat on their own.


 Crock Pot Ribs (with potato/onion side)


4-6 lbs. pork ribs

Seasoning Rub (see below for recipe)

3 lbs. potatoes

1 lb. onions

2 cups barbecue sauce (bottled or homemade - see below for my BBQ sauce recipe)



Prepare seasoning rub according to recipe; rub onto both sides of ribs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.



Next day, unwrap ribs and cut into portions; spray a 6-quart crock pot with nonstick cooking spray; place rib portions inside with meaty side against wall of crock pot.


Wash potatoes, cut open lengthwise, in half lengthwise, then into one-inch pieces.  Place into center of crock pot and keep ribs against wall, do not let them slide under potatoes.


Remove paper skin and root from onions; chop into one-inch pieces and place over potatoes.









Pour barbecue sauce over all, cover and cook on low for 5 - 7 hours; until ribs and potatoes are tender.  Remove from crock pot onto serving dish; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm and let rest for 15 minutes.  Serve with sauce from pot over all, or in cup for dipping.

Makes 4 to 6 servings, based on one pound of ribs per person.






Additional Recipes for Seasoning Rub and Homemade Barbecue Sauce


All Purpose Rub for Smoking and Grilling


2 cups brown sugar

1 tsp. each sea salt, ground black pepper, ground ginger

¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp. each paprika, onion powder, garlic powder


In medium bowl, mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Rub onto all sides of meat or poultry; refrigerate overnight.

All Purpose Barbecue Sauce


2 Tbsp. peanut oil (if not available, use canola oil)

1 small onion, diced

1Tbsp. minced garlic

1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes

1 (6oz.) can tomato paste

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup water

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. ground horseradish

¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper

1 tsp. each salt and ground black pepper

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup dark molasses


In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat; sauté onion and garlic till softened; be careful not to burn garlic. Add in remaining ingredients, stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes; sauce will thicken. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking or burning. If sauce thickens too much, stir in a tablespoon of water until desired consistency is achieved.  Use warm or cold; store in refrigerator in airtight container; will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 2 cups.

If you think you cannot have summer barbecue in the winter, Surprise! oh yes you can.  By the way, if anyone does snow blower repairs…help!!!

Mary Cokenour

No comments:

Post a Comment