These ribs incorporate two distinct cooking methods. First, the ribs are rubbed in a dry spice mixture, then cooked all day until tender. Next, they're slathered in a sweet and savory barbecue sauce made from fresh raspberries and sorghum syrup before they finally meet a hot grill. However, no worries if you're not able to get your grill going. An equally tasty alternative is to brush the ribs with the barbecue sauce right in the slow cooker, then cover, crank the heat up to high, and continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Either way, at the end of the day, you'll have a delicious, sticky, messy, lick-your-fingers-clean rack of ribs that will be a surefire hit.
*Note: If you can't find sorghum, substitute light molasses. This sauce is also excellent with grilled chicken, pork chops, or grilled pork loin.
Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
Cut the ribs into 2- to 3-rib portions to fit inside a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Generously rub the ribs with the spice mixture and stand them up against the walls of the slow cooker, thicker ends down. Cover and cook on low until the ribs are tender but still firm enough to hold up on the grill without falling apart, for at least 5 hours and up to 7 hours. (Be careful not to overcook them.)
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a blender, combine the raspberries, garlic, onion, brown sugar, sorghum syrup, ketchup, cider vinegar, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Purée well. Strain the sauce through a sieve (pressing it out well) into a saucepan and cook, uncovered, over low heat until thickened, for 30 minutes. (You can skip straining the sauce through a sieve if you don’t mind the seeds.) Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside to cool.
Once the ribs have finished cooking, preheat a grill on medium-high heat.
Baste the ribs generously with the sauce and grill them until nice and crispy and caramelized, 3-4 minutes per side. (Be careful not to let them burn.) Alternatively, sauce the ribs inside the slow cooker and continue cooking on high. Serve the ribs with any extra sauce on the side and lots of napkins.