For an easy meal, try these tender Slow Cooker Sweet Tomato Country Style Spare Ribs cooked in a crockpot with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. Delicious on top of baked potatoes, brown rice, or in a bun for the perfect sandwich.
Apparently there is this thing called “Meatless Monday” in the food blogging world. It’s a day where, you know, you don’t eat meat. Basically, your one vegetarian day out of the week.
I’m all for cutting down on meat. In fact, we probably eat meatless dinners 2-3 times out of the week. It’s not like I’m ever really conscious about making meals without using some hearty animal flesh (Man, that does sound bad when you write it that way! Haha!), I am just either too late to defrost a piece of meat or I happen to be in the mood to load up on veggies and other protein options.
That being said, this post is NOT Meatless Monday friendly. Actually, it is the totally opposite.
We’re talking ALL meat here.
Meat that falls apart after slow cooking in the crockpot for hours.
Meat that is drenched in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce.
Meat that pretty much could be slapped on top of anything and it would still taste delicious.
Yes, the kind of meat that will have you licking your fingers, and the plate, once dinner is over.
From the taste of these Slow Cooker Sweet Tomato Country Style Spare Ribs, you would think that someone slaved over the stove all day. But, in fact, the process of preparing these babies is quite quick and painless.
One of those “hardly have to lift a finger” kind of meals. I’m down for those…like everyday.
Since I wanted the tomato sauce to be smooth, I didn’t even cut up any fresh veggies to go in it. I figured I could get my veggie fill with the toppings I was planning on putting over the baked potatoes.
Basically, this sauce is simply tomato sauce, tomato paste, honey, apple cider vinegar, and a few seasonings to round out the taste. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. But don’t really squeeze a lemon. That is not part of the ingredient list.
Ben described this sauce as tasting a bit like a sloppy joe sauce. So when you are deciding what lucky little food boat gets to be the vehicle for getting these spare ribs into your mouth, keep that in mind. We’ve eaten these shredded spare ribs over baked potatoes and over brown rice and both were equally delicious.
And not only do you get to be creative with the base of this dish, but get creative with the toppings as well. Our toppings of choice were avocados, grape tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese. Let me tell you, that goat cheese was the bomb! The creaminess and tanginess of the goat cheese complemented the sweet acidity of the tomato sauce. Match made in heaven!
You can either cook the meat over high heat for 3-4 hours or over low heat for 6-8 hours. I cooked ours over high heat and they were super tender, so don’t worry about the meat getting tough in the high heat setting. I find that can be the case with chicken or other lean meats.
So whether you make this on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…you get it…you will be sure to get your fill of meaty carnivorous comfort. Just eat a salad the next day if you’re feeling a little guilty. And then snack on the crockpot leftovers. Hehe.
What are your favorite meatless Monday meals?
- 2 pounds boneless pork country style spare ribs
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
- 1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- Trim excessive fat from spare ribs and place in slow cooker.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together honey, apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, oregano, ground mustard, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, and cayenne. Taste and add additional brown sugar if you want sweeter.
- Pour sauce over spare ribs. Cover and turn slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours until spare ribs are tender enough to shred.
- Remove ribs and shred with a knife and fork. Return meat to slow cooker. Stir and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to keep warm setting and allow meat to sit in sauce for 20-30 minutes.
- Serve warm over potatoes, rice, or in a sandwich with desired toppings.