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Slow Cooker Bourbon Ribs for Father's Day

Chowhound logo Chowhound 6/10/2019 Chris Rochelle

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Father's Day dinner is deserving of a big bold showstopper of a dish and this meaty, moist, fall-off-the-bone rack of baby back ribs may be just the thing. Baby backs aren't difficult to make per se but to get them just right, it does require a little patience, some equipment, and a good recipe plan.  A slow cooker is an easy way to get any meat tender, ribs included, and a fast trip under the broiler will give these ribs that coveted caramelization, and char.

The other piece of the puzzle is having a good BBQ sauce. Of course, it will gain sweetness from the brown sugar but also a real complex depth of flavor from the coffee and bourbon while a dash of soy sauce adds umami. If you're keen to buy your sauce, here are a few of our favorites. And consider some of our favorite BBQ sides to serve the ribs with.

Welcome to Slow Cooker Sunday. Plug in and chill out for what’s supposed to be the laziest day of the week.

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Makes 2 racks of baby back ribs

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For the ribs:

2 racks baby back ribs

For the barbecue sauce:

8 ounces thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large shot bourbon

1 cup extra-strong brewed coffee

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon soy sauce

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Mix together these dry ingredients:

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground yellow mustard seed

1 tablespoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Step 1: To make the barbecue sauce, cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until it starts to brown. This should take about 10 minutes.

a bowl filled with meat and vegetables on a metal pan on a stove © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. (video)

Step 2: Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions have softened approximately 10 more minutes.

a pan filled with food © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. (video)

Step 3: Add the dry ingredients mixture and stir to evenly combine.

a pan filled with food © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. (video)

Step 4: Add the bourbon and stir all of the ingredients together, deglazing the pan.

a bowl filled with meat and vegetables © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. (video)

Step 5: Add the bacon-vegetable mixture, coffee, ketchup, and soy sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.

a close up of a metal pan filled with food © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. (video)

Step 6: Place the sauce and meat in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator to marinate. If you can do this overnight that’s best, but even a few hours will noticeably change the flavor of the meat.

a pan of food on a plate © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. (video)

Step 7: Turn the slow cooker on high and add the ribs and sauce. Try to set the ribs standing up along the sides of the pot to keep the meat from sitting in the simmer. Cook for 4 to 5 hours until done.

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Step 8: Turn on the broiler. Remove the cooked ribs from the slow cooker and place them on a baking tray meat-side up. Apply a thick coat of the sauce and broil for about 5 minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye on the ribs—you don't want them to burn in the broiler. There should be 2 cups of sauce remaining to pour into bowls and serve on the side.

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