Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Ribs

Sweet and Sour Slow-Cooker Ribs

1 medium onion, chopped 1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 ounces apricot or peach jam
6 ounces frozen pineapple concentrate
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup rice vinegar plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
4 lbs baby back ribs (2 pieces)
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Place the onion, pepper, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, about 8 pulses.

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable mixture and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is softened and slightly brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the jam, frozen juice, soy sauce, sugar, 1/4 cup vinegar, lime zest, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Stand upright in the slow cooker, winding them around in a spiral, meaty side toward the wall of the cooker. Pour the sauce over the ribs. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours until tender. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

Let the cooking liquid settle 5 minutes and pour off the fat. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium pot. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook down until it measures about 1 ½ cups, about 5-10 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce together in a small bowl, then stir into pot. Cook until the sauce is glossy and thickened, about 2 minutes.

Stir the remaining tablespoon of vinegar into the sauce and correct the seasoning. Slice the ribs between the bones and toss with the sauce. Serve on a platter garnished with cilantro.


James Moore has been a cooking enthusiast since childhood and started blogging as a way to share favorite recipes with friends and family. His site, Cook Like James has grown to include restaurants, cookbooks, wines, and favorite places.