Of course blues and barbeque have a long history together, but blue ribs? I had a hankering for ribs over the weekend, and it seemed to me that there probably isn’t much easier to cook in the world than ribs in the slow cooker. Slather with barbeque sauce and cook on low for 8 hours.
To make things more interesting, we decided to use blueberry barbeque sauce, following the recipe in Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook.
There’s no way around it. This recipe calls for an ass-ton of blueberries. Two-and-a-half pounds. We bought a three pound bag of frozen blueberries for $13. With onion, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, et cetera, it yields about four cups of very blue sauce after (you guessed it) eight hours on low in the slow cooker. Doubtless, the most expensive barbeque sauce I’ve had.
Still, the barbeque sauce is quite delicious. It’s a little bit sweeter than a tomato-based sauce, very tangy, and really only slightly blueberry-y, beyond the color. Purists need not fret: the cookbook ladies report that it’s a traditional Southern recipe. I’ll take their word for it.
We made the sauce a day in advance, then just dumped the ribs in the crock in the morning (after scooping half out to save for serving on the side).
After cooking, the ribs were not blue at all. Nor were they infused with much blueberry-y flavor. As such, I’m going to suggest that if you’re interested in the blueberry sauce (which you should be), you don’t cook the ribs in the blueberry sauce. Use a regular, tomato-based (read: cheaper) sauce for that, and save the good stuff for the side.
I’m also going to suggest that, in the case of ribs, you go against the cookbook ladies advice on the quality of meat cuts. They say that the slow cooker lends itself best to the cheaper cuts of meat. Pork butt over loin chops, check. But when going for the ribs, you best splurge.
Not that our ribs were not fall-off-the-bone tender. They were. Delicious, yes. But this would have been a much better meal had we gone with the choicer cut of ribs.
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