OK, so here's the thing. This recipe is meant to be made in a slow cooker but you all know how I feel about the contraptions; however, if you really must use one, go ahead but I'm giving you fair warning. You're not going to get the color, consistency or the flavor that we had by using a Dutch oven. So there!
Discovered on Better Homes and Garden's website, this recipe is a cinch to make - country style pork ribs, preferably bone in for more flavor slow braised in a kinda' sweet, kinda' tart oh so easy bourbon boosted sauce. I mean really, what's not to like!
Needless to say, I changed up the recipe somewhat because that's a cook's prerogative. I seasoned the ribs, coated 'em in a dusting of cornstarch and browned them till golden before adding the sauce. They hit a 350 oven for 1-1/2 hours, then were topped with apples and returned to the oven for another half hour. Quite honestly, they were fall apart delicious. The apples caramelized in all the sugary goodness and turned into transparent little flavor bombs, and the sauce - well you're looking at it so you can well imagine, right?
The only thing I gotta' admit is while delicious, they weren't quite perfect which means a second go round in the not to distant future. (ah darn) Next time I'll add some garlic to the mix and maybe a little fresh ginger too, although Big Guy suggested some smoked chipotle chile powder as his favorite flavor booster. He would, wouldn't he?
Incidentally, I peeled the apples (Granny Smith and Braeburn) but you can leave 'em peel on if you prefer, and don't be using expensive fabulous smooth and wonderful bourbon for this, OK? I used what we call cookin' bourbon in this house - Maker's Mark to be exact but Jack Daniel's or Buffalo Trace would be fine too. Just sayin'.
Apple Bourbon Country Style Pork Ribs (from JBug’s Kitchen adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds country style ribs, bone in (about 4 large)
Salt and coarse ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup apple jelly
3/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 medium tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges (I used Granny Smith and Braeburn)
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high. Meanwhile season ribs well on both sides with salt and pepper and dust with cornstarch. Cook on both sides in batches without crowding pan until richly browned in color. Arrange ribs in single layer in Dutch oven when all are browned. In a small bowl, whisk together apple jelly, bourbon, brown sugar, vinegar and thyme. Pour over ribs, cover and place in a preheated 350 oven. Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Remove from oven and cover with apple wedges. Return to oven and cook for additional half hour. Serve with rice or noodles. Makes 4 servings.