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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Sweet & Sour Country Style Ribs

We buy the majority of our meat in bulk, usually a hind quarter of beef and a half of pig. Sometimes I pick a particular cut I want at our local butcher shop. Since I don't grocery shop the way most do, I like checking out the meat section when I do get to a grocery store just in case I see something that strikes my fancy. The other day we were at Sam's Club so of course I had to check out the meat section.

Country Style Ribs

This package of pork shoulder Country Style Ribs looked too good to resist. The package was $11.69 for 7.04 lb cut into eight lovely sized ribs of about .90 lbs each. It will give us at least four meals for two people so is still on the frugal side at $2.90 per meal or $1.45 per rib. Served with plain white rice the entire meal is very frugal!

I vacuum sealed half the package for freezing then decided to sear the rest, put into the crockpot then add our favourite homemade sweet and sour sauce.

Searing

I'm not a huge fan of crockpots even though I have two. They see most of their use during bulk cooking sessions, making stew or keeping something warm when entertaining. Any meat that I put in the crockpot is always seared usually in olive oil. This adds a nicer depth in flavour and gives a better colour.

Normally I would have seared the ribs then bake in a clay baker at a low temperature until tender then add the sauce and bake uncovered until the sauce thicked. Last night I decided to try the crockpot instead. Everyone rants about how much they love their crockpot so I wanted to see if I could get similar results to the baking method. I seared the ribs in a hot pan with olive oil. Then I transferred the ribs to the crockpot and added just a little water to prevent sticking and set to high. I let them cook about 40 minutes then added the sauce.

Ready to Enjoy!

I used our favourite sweet & sour sauce. It was my mother-in-law's recipe and even though I tweak it a bit on occasion, I don't deviate by much. This sauce just seems to have the right balance using ingredients right from your pantry. This sauce is perfect for making sweet & sour meet balls, sweet & sour chicken wings and of course sweet & sour ribs. The minor deviations I have made include using dijon mustard instead of regular, using Worchestershire sauce instead of soy sauce, and adding a little extra vinegar. The deviations are always based on the meat I'm using. For this dish, I used the recipe in its original format.

Sweet & Sour Sauce
recipe by: my dear MIL

2 c ketchup
1/2 c vinegar
1/2 c brown sugar
dash of soy sauce
dash of mustard (about 1 tsp)
corn starch and water slurry

Wisk ingredients except corn sstarch slurry. Pour over the meat and continue cooking the desired length of time. Add the corn starch slurry to thicken during the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time.


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