Dinner Tonight: Slow Cooker Chinese 5-Spice Spare Ribs

I love my crock pot.  Like a slow oven, it can make any cut of meat a tender and delicious masterpiece with little effort.  I have used this basic recipe for pork ribs in the slow cooker before, but decided to see how it would do with beef spare ribs, as i love how meaty and flavorful they can be.

Full of flavor and amazingly tender, these ribs are a great meal, and the meat is also a great base for any chinese stew

Full of flavor and amazingly tender, these ribs are a great meal, and the meat is also a great base for any chinese stew

As you can see in the picture above, this treatment in the crock pot builds an amazing crust on the outside of the meat, while allowing most of the extra fat to drip into the bottom. of your cooker.  You can remove the fat and use the drippings as a sauce, but I didn't think the ribs needed it.  The literally melted in my mouth, and the bones pulled free easily after seven hours on high.  The small amount of liquid in the bottom of the crock was enough to keep the meat from drying out, and added just an extra hint of flavor from the Maggi and vinegar.  I just served them with ribs, but they would be equally good with a nice stir fry.

5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs

Asian style pork ribs, great on their own with stir-fry veggies, and a great base meat for an oriental stew.

YIELD
4-8 servings

ACTIVE TIME
2 minutes

TOTAL TIME
6-12 hours

INGREDIENTS

    • 3 to 4 pounds pork or beef ribs
    • salt & ground black pepper
    • coarse (granulated) garlic powder
    • Chinese five-spice powder
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon Maggi

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Lay the ribs on a cutting board and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Now rub a good amount of five-spice powder onto the ribs. I didn’t measure, but I was pretty aggressive with it; the top of the ribs were pretty evenly brown with powder.
    2. Measure the rice vinegar and the Maggi into the bottom of a slow cooker. Add the ribs, cover, and cook on high for about 6 hours or on low for 8-10. Really, you can’t cook them too long. They’re ribs; they’re very forgiving.
    3. Chill the liquid left in the bottom of the slow cooker so the fat separates. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil, simmer for a few minutes, then use as a dipping sauce for the meat.