These slow cooker country-style pork ribs are a family favorite pork recipe. They are full of simple and rustic flavors. The rich taste, the aroma of herbs and the beautiful amber color come together into a delicious and comforting dish. These melt-in-your-mouth tender ribs go very well with rice, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables or a bowl of pasta.
The most important part of this recipe is to brown the ribs and caramelize the onions until they are deep golden brown. That’s what adds most of the flavor and the beautiful color. The basic spices in this recipe only extend the natural flavor of the pork ribs sweetened by caramelized onions.
Since country-style pork ribs are essentially a pork butt, the best way to cook them is on low. Low and slow cooking, about 4-5 hours, will make them fall-off-the-bone tender. If you are pressed for time, set your slow cooker to high and cook the ribs for 2-3 hours.
The spice mix in this recipe is something that took some experimenting until I landed on what I thought was absolutely perfect. But, as they say, tastes differ, so feel free to adjust the spices to your taste.
Rustic Slow Cooker Country-Style Pork Ribs Recipe
- 4 lbs country-style pork ribs
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 3 yellow onions (quartered and sliced about 1/4-inch thick)
- 4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- A pinch of ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 3 cups water
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp cold water
- Trim excess fat from the ribs if necessary. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper and set aside.
- Heat cooking oil in a non-stick pan over high heat. Add half of the ribs and sear for 4 minutes. Flip and continue searing for another 4 minutes, or until nicely browned. Transfer the browned ribs to the slow cooker and continue browning the other half of the ribs. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the onions to the same the skillet. There should be plenty of oil and fat left in the pan, but if not, add another tablespoon of oil. Saute until deep golden brown, constantly stirring, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
- Add the water, salt, pepper and the rest of the seasonings. Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust for salt. The liquid should be salted just right.
- Pour the contents of the pan into the slow cooker over the ribs. Stir to distribute the ingredients evenly.
- Set the slow cooker to low and cook for about 4-5 hours or until the pork ribs are fork-tender. You can also cook the meat on high for 2-3 hours.
- Once the meat is tender, check for salt and seasonings again and adjust if needed.
- If you want the liquid thickened, now is the time to do it. Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker and set aside. Dissolve three tablespoons of cornstarch in three tablespoons of cold water. Add the cornstarch to the slow cooker and stir well. Let simmer for about 20 minutes until desired thickness is achieved. If needed, add more cornstarch.
- Return the ribs to the slow cooker and keep on 'warm' until ready to serve.
- Serve with with rice, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, pasta or other favorite side dish.