Slow cooker beef back ribs are tender, succulent, and very flavorful. They are slowly cooked, then glazed with a reduction of the delicious cooking juices.
The other day, I spotted gorgeous beef back ribs at Whole Foods, and bought them without the faintest idea on how to make them. At home, after some research, I developed the following slow cooker recipe, which resulted in tender, succulent, super flavorful slow cooker beef back ribs.
What are beef back ribs?
After enjoying the ribs, I did some more research. As it turns out, beef back ribs come from the rib area of the cow. They are left after the butcher cuts a boneless rib roast. Usually, a strip of back ribs will have 7 ribs.
Because rib roasts are expensive, butchers tend to cut them very close to the bone, leaving very little meat on top of beef back ribs. Most of the meat is between the bones. However, that meat is wonderful – tender (when slow cooked), flavorful and fatty.
How to cook beef back ribs
Slow cooker beef back ribs are wonderful thanks to the slow cooking. Without it, the meat would be tough and chewy. But despite requiring several hours of cooking, these slow cooker beef back ribs are very easy to make. The slow cooker basically does all the work for you.
I would say that the only somewhat challenging part of this recipe is reducing the cooking liquids until they’re just the right consistency, but adding cornstarch helps a lot with properly thickening the juices.
I try to use organic cornstarch to avoid GMOs, and I don’t worry too much about the small number of carbs that the cornstarch adds.
Is this a healthy recipe?
However, if you have a specific issue that requires you to minimize your consumption of saturated fat, then it’s possible that this recipe is not the best fit for you.
Despite the cornstarch and honey in the sauce, a serving of this recipe is low in carbs.
As for soy sauce, although not paleo, I believe it’s fine in moderation. Although you should obviously use an alternative if you need this recipe to be gluten-free.
What to serve with slow cooker beef ribs?
What about leftovers?
If you have leftovers, they keep well in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
Slow Cooker Beef Back Ribs
- 3 lb. beef back ribs
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce (or use a gluten-free alternative and add salt as needed)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Place the ribs in your slow cooker. If you bought a slab like I did, you’ll probably need to cut it in half with a sharp chef’s knife to fit in your slow cooker.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the cornstarch. Pour over the ribs, and use your clean hands to rub the sauce into the ribs, on all sides.
- Cook on LOW for 6 hours, until the meat is fall-apart tender (and smells amazing!).
- Set the slow cooker to WARM. Transfer the cooked beef ribs to a plate for a minute. Strain the liquids from the slow cooker into a wide saucepan, then return the ribs to the slow cooker and cover, to keep them warm while you reduce the cooking juices into a glaze.
- Heat the strained cooking juices on medium-high. Whisk the cornstarch with a little cold water and add to the saucepan. Keep cooking on medium-high, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened into a rich glaze, 5-10 minutes. Brush over the ribs and serve.