Make this a wonderful tradition by serving the meat with something to catch the extra sauce: pasta, egg noodles, polenta, mashed potatoes, or good bread. And a sharp coleslaw or crisp green salad is welcome next to the rich ribs. —Phyllis Good, author of Stock the Crock
If you don’t have the right kind of jelly, mix equal parts of grated horseradish and honey to equal 1⁄4 cup
Make It Gluten-Free: check the labels to ensure you are using gluten-free jelly, tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Make It Paleo-Friendly: instead of the jelly, mix equal parts of grated horseradish and honey to make 1⁄4 cup.
Check the labels to ensure you are using crushed tomatoes and tomato paste without additives, or use 2 cups crushed fresh tomatoes and 1⁄3 cup Tomato Paste
Omit the wine.
Serve alone or over cooked sweet potatoes or cauliflower “rice” (cauliflower florets pulsed in a food processor).
Make It for Picky Eaters: puree the sauce ingredients together before adding them to the cooker. Picky eaters are often more amenable to smooth sauces with flavor than if the bits and pieces are showing.
Grease the interior of the slow cooker crock with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
If you have time, broil the ribs 6 inches from the heat until browned, about 5 to 10 minutes per side. Or grill them until they’re browned on both sides. Note: If you would rather skip the broiling or grilling, you can place the ribs straight into the crock. Stagger them as you make layers so they don’t directly overlap each other.
In a good-size microwave-safe bowl, heat the jelly on High for 30 seconds in the microwave, just until it turns syrupy.
Stir all the remaining ingredients except the fresh thyme into the bowl with the jelly, combining well.
Spoon the sauce over the ribs in the cooker, lifting up the top layer so the ribs on the bottom layer get covered with sauce too.
Cover. Cook on Low 6 to 8 hours or on High 4 to 6 hours.
Place the ribs on a platter. Cover them with foil to keep them warm.
As the sauce in the cooker cools, remove the layer of fat that floats to the surface.
Put the ribs back into the sauce. Pull the ribs apart into chunks and stir the meat into the sauce. Just before serving, scatter fresh thyme leaves over the meat and the sauce in a serving dish. If you have sprigs, strip off the leaves and scatter them over the filled dish.
Serve with Baked White Polenta with Two Cheeses (page 75), or over egg noodles or other pasta, mashed potatoes, or bread.
Excerpted from Stock the Crock by Phyllis Good. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House.