BBQ pork baby back ribs

May 22, 2018 By Southpoint Tuggeranong

Hands up who loves winter? Hands up who loves winter comfort food? Hands up who loves ribs?

Me, I love winter, comfort food and ribs. And now that the time has come to rescue the slow cooker from the back of the pantry, what is usually a summer BBQ staple, baby back ribs are on the menu. We all know how awesome slow cookers are for not only working parents during the week, but on weekends when it’s wet and cold, and winter sports keep us out of the house for the day, coming home to tender, luscious and moreish pork ribs is a mood booster for sure.


These ribs take around 8 hours to be fully cooked and on a plate, but you literally just throw the simplest of pantry ingredients into the slow cooker and head out the door to go about your day. This recipe feeds two hungry adults, but be prepared to want more when you’re done.

  •  2 racks of baby back ribs cut in half
  • 1c tomato sauce
  • 1/4c apple cider vinegar (substitute for brown vinegar or white vinegar with half a cup of apple juice if you have it)
  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 1c water
  • Whole head garlic cut in half
  • Couple grindings of black pepper and a tsp sea salt
  • 2 large floury potatoes
  • 2 corn cobs
  • Steamed greens

Add the tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic and water to the slow cooker and mix well. Season the pork ribs well with salt and pepper. I always find that a slow cooker dish needs a little more seasoning than an oven baked dish due to the liquids increasing in the slow cooker, not concentrating like the liquids in the oven roasting pan. You can always add more seasoning at the end of the process after the ribs go through the second cooking process.


Cut the pork ribs in half so they fit in the slow cooker and can be partially submerged in the liquids. Plonk the lid on and cook on low for 6 – 7 hours. Although you want your pork ribs tender and fall off the bone, they go through a second cooking process in the oven, so don’t over slow cook them. Try and remove as much fat from the pot as possible and lay the ribs carefully onto an oven tray covered in foil. Pour half the juices over the ribs and blast in a hot oven for 20 – 30 minutes depending on how crispy you like your ribs. Pour the rest of the juices into a saucepan on the stovetop and reduce the sauce until it’s incredibly sticky, this then also gets poured all over the ribs when it’s time to eat. This is a really simple bbq sauce recipe, but you may like to use your favourite bought bbq sauce recipe for the ribs at this stage.


In the meantime, while the oven is heating up, poke a skewer through the two potatoes 5 or 6 times as this speeds up the cooking process and stops the potato from exploding in the oven. Add a little extra virgin olive oil and season generously with sea salt, place into a small tray and roast for the time it takes to sticky up the ribs and reduce the sauce. The potatoes should cook in around 45 minutes.

Serve the sticky unctuous ribs with extra sauce, baked potatoes with sour cream and lashings of butter (this is not the time to scrimp on potato toppings!), steamed corn and a few steamed greens to add colour and crunch to the dish.

Ribs are best served with either a Bentspoke Crankshaft, a rich malty hoppy IPA or a Ravensworth Shiraz Viognier a little bit of spicy Shiraz to stand up to the BBQ sauce, but a little bit of luxury that the Viognier gives, makes it a perfect match for pork ribs.

  Enjoy Fran The Food and Wine Marshall  

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