I don't use my crockpot often enough, and more's the pity.
Truth is, I don't usually think about how I'm going to cook something until I'm in the kitchen around 6 PM deciding what's for dinner. I'll bet I'm not alone in this.
John Bledsoe, and I had taken them out to thaw thinking I had all the time in the world to braise them into a tasty meal.
Aren't those ribs beautiful?
The rest was easy; here's what you do: Layer the ingredients as shown in the photos, sprinkle the lemon zest over all the vegetables, ribs on top with generous sprinklings of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, and finish it off with fresh sprigs of rosemary.
Pour in some rich stock, red wine, plonk the lid on, program the crock pot to high for 4 hours then low for 6 hours then warm to hold. And walk away.
When you return to your kitchen, after dark, eyes bleary and neck achey from crunching numbers all day, the aromas that greet you will lift your spirits and the meal that has pretty much prepared itself will pamper your palate, warm your tummy and remind you that taking the crock pot out of the cupboard once in a while can be such a good thing.
Christine's Recipe for Crock Pot Braised Pork Ribs with Whole Garlic Cloves and Fresh Rosemary
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces
3 ribs celery, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces
4 carrots, pared, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces
21 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
Zest of one large Meyer lemon or regular lemon
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 pounds meaty pork ribs on the bone
1 cup rich stock (I used my rich and robust chicken stock)
1/2 to 2/3 cup Merlot or Merlot-Cabernet blend
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black peppercorns
Beginning with the onions, layer the vegetables in the crock pot, ending with the garlic cloves.
Top the vegetables with the lemon zest then lay the ribs over, nestling them snugly into the pot.
Sprinkle the ribs with kosher salt and pepper then lay the rosemary sprigs over them.
Pour the stock down the edges of the crock pot then do the same with the red wine.
Put the lid on the pot then set the programming to High for 4 hours, Low for 4-6 hours, Hold or Warm until you're ready to eat.
The meat will be fall-off-the-bone tender, the vegetables not mushy. I always find that amazing.
Remove the rosemary sprigs before serving.
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