Whenever we have people over at our house, this is the recipe I frequently turn to. It's a proven winner. Everyone seems to love this and I always get asked for the recipe. What's even better, since it's slow-cooked, you can prepare it in the morning and then forget about it till the guests arrive and it's serving time. Easy and delicious.
I always pair this with rice and pancit. Perfect Asian meal.
2 ½ kilos / 5 lbs of country style pork ribs, regular ribs or pork shoulder
For the sauce:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup soy sauce (get a wheat-free brand if you wish to do a fully gluten-free version)
1/2 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch fresh ginger, chopped or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 bay leaves (optional)
In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce except the bay leaves and the meat. Or if you are in a hurry, just mix all the ingredients in the slow cooker itself (again less the meat and bay leaves).
Note: If you want the meat to absorb more flavor, you can marinate the ribs on the sauce in the fridge overnight. I place everything in the slow cooker - place it on the fridge and then cook it the next day.
Cook on low for about 6-8 hours. I usually crank the slow cooker to high for the first hour just to get a head start and then turn it back to low afterwards.
Transfer the cooked ribs (they'd be so tender they may fall off the bones!) to a serving platter and keep warm. The remaining liquid will be quite watery. But you can use it as sauce already.
Alternatively, strain the liquid through a fine sieve or strainer to remove bits and pieces of meat and other ingredients in the liquid. You may use up all the sauce or just however much you want. Place the strained sauce in a saucepan and heat up gently. Thicken with either arrowroot or cornstarch to your desired thickness and consistency.
Drizzle the sauce on top of the meat. Garnish with chopped scallions. Serve with rice and your favorite veggies.
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