These are the kind of ribs you find at the grocery store. They are not precious, because this is not precious food, but they are tasty. Less sweet and ketchup-laden than most ribs in this style, the pork ends up just falling off the bone, and the gochujang, a Korean chile paste available at Asian markets, brings a lot of umami to the plate.
Why do I call them “pseudo?”? ‘Cause real barbecue has smoke and fire. This doesn’t. This is easy. Get them going and walk away.
Serve whatever makes you feel good with these ribs: some red beans and rice, tangy cole slaw, a big tomato salad, and some ice-cold beer… oh, and cornbread.
- The 6 pounds of ribs will probably be preportioned into 2 slabs. Cut each one in half, running a knife parallel to the bones in the middle, creating 4 half-slabs. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and place them in a large mixing bowl. Pour the barbecue sauce over the ribs and mix them up a bit to coat.
- In a large slow cooker, line up the rib halfslabs vertically as if they were file folders and the slow cooker a file cabinet drawer, adding the thyme sprigs between the layers. Scrape any sauce remaining in the bowl over the ribs. Set the cooker on the low setting, cover with the lid, and cook for 8 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Carefully remove the ribs from the cooker and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush any barbecue sauce left in the cooker over the cooked ribs, and then roast them in the oven for 10 minutes to brown. Then they’re ready to eat!
- Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, and when it bubbles and froths, add the onion and garlic. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, until very soft and caramelized
- Place the cooked onion and the tomatoes, sugar, Worcestershire, vinegar, gochujang, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. This will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.