November 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Ribs With Barbecue Gravy

We've been so busy with outdoor projects lately that by the time evening chores are done, I've been too tired to cook. Sandwiches are okay, but with the weather getting chillier, a nice hot dinner can be a real comfort. With a little planning ahead and my slow cooker, that hot meal really hits the spot when we're tired to the bone. This rib recipe was super easy and used mostly homegrown ingredients. The only thing I didn't grow or make myself was the sorghum syrup.

Sometimes called sorghum molasses, it isn't actually molasses, which is a byproduct of the sugar extraction process. Sorghum syrup is made from juice pressed from the sorghum plant and then cooked down much like maple syrup. It's a traditional Southern food item: sorghum syrup and biscuits, or sorghum syrup and cornbread, yum! Strangely, I can rarely find it on the grocery store shelves! Mine came from Golden Barrel.

I was introduced to Golden Barrel products when we went up to Lancaster County, PA five and a half years ago for my son's wedding. Their retail outlet carries things I like to keep in my pantry: molasses, syrups, cooking oils, also light and dark sugars (including organic). I occasionally see some of their products locally, but their online prices are excellent too. (It's also nice that my son's in-laws live in that area so that I can send a shopping list when they go visit!).

Anyway, enough about sorghum and shopping lists. On to the recipe.

Slow Cooker Ribs With Barbecue Gravy

  • Ribs, mine were home butchered chevon ribs so I don't know the weight! Everything was divided and frozen to make servings for two, which fit nicely in my crock pot.
  • 1.5 cups "V-8" style tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup sorghum syrup
  • handful of chopped onion
  • 3 or 4 chopped garlic cloves, (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour

Place ribs into the crock pot. Mix remaining ingredients with a whisk and pour over the ribs. Set crock pot temperature according to manufacturer's directions for the time you wish to eat. Cover. Turn the ribs occasionally. By the time they're done they'll be falling off the bone tender.

We ate our ribs with baked sweet potatoes (home grown) and cole slaw (not home grown.) The sweet potato topped with butter and drizzled with ...

You guessed it, drizzled with sorghum syrup!


Dawn said...

That looks delicious, I havent heared of that syrup before I wouldnt think its available in the UK

Kev Alviti said...

That looks good. In fact just the title of slow cooked ribs made my mouth water!

Farmer Barb said...

I was watching a cooking show last night where they used sorghum syrup to coat some bacon. Now, beef and sweet potatoes! I have seen YouTubes of people making it, but where does sorghum grow? Could you do it there?

Renee Nefe said...

makes me wish I had bought some sweet potatoes! and had time to be at home this weekend...sigh we're back to the theater here in just a bit.

Mom at home said...

I love sorghum syrup. We are lucky to have Amish nearby that makes jars and jars of it. I believe that it contains a lot of iron? My crockpot gets such a great workout all year long. Those ribs look so delicious. The perfect dinner always includes a sweet potato:)

Leigh said...

Dawn, that's a good question about sorghum availability in the UK. With modern transportation, however, it just may be!

Kev, thanks. :)

Barb, sorghum syrup on bacon sounds super yummy! The plant is traditionally grown in the south, from Texas to Tennessee and beyond. I think it may have originated in Africa, if I'm recalling correctly. It likes heat. I have grown a couple of experimental garden beds of it and it did well. I've used the grain for feeding the chickens and goats. Syrup, however, requires a roller press and cooking vats. That's the deterrent!

Renee, another play? Sounds like slow cooker time for you for sure. :)

Leigh said...

Mom at home, we commented at the same time! I believe you're correct about the iron, but I should do some research on nutritional value. :)

Kris said...

Oh, the kitchen must smell heavenly when mealtime rolls around. Does chevon taste like lamb? And anything tastes better with sweet potatoes. Yum!

Sandy Livesay said...


I'm reading your post at 9:04AM, and you've succeeded in making me real hungry :P

Great recipe, I need to try this the next time we have ribs.

I've seen sorghum in several of the health food stores when in town but really didn't know how to use it. I'm going to have to stock up on some now that I know a bit more about it. Thanks for sharing :-)

Unknown said...

That looks scrumptious...when are they going to invent smellivision?

Mama Pea said...

I do miss the meat we used to get from our butchered goats. Now, of course, there is the Boer breed which sounds even more enticing if one is planning on using the culls for personal meat supply.

You may rightfully label me a real dum-dum as I have never learned to use a crock pot! Doesn't make sense for our lifestyle when, as you say, we're often outside all day and coming in to delicious aromas in the house and a luscious ready-to-serve meal would be wonderful. (I guess that's why I rely on my simmering soups so much.) Maybe with a little prodding (by someone with a big stick) I will finally learn crock pot cooking this winter!

DFW said...


Those look & sound delicious! My slow cooker is one of my best kitchen friends.

Mama Mess said...

I love, love, love sorghum! Lucky for me we live near a pretty big community of Amish and they have a sorghum mill so that's where I get mine from. I substitute it for at least half the brown sugar in most of my baking.

Jake said...

Yum! That looks awesome.

I think sorghum can do well further north, too. When we were living in Maryland a couple years ago, there were a few fields around, and my grandparents said they used to grow it in Wisconsin back in the 1940s. I think there's still an operation near Elkhart Lake, WI that grows it and makes syrup.

Leigh said...

Sandy, sorghum can be used just like molasses or syrup. Dan likes it in his oatmeal. :)

Oh, Brittany, the house smelled divine all day!

Mama Pea, you've never had a crock pot?!?!? I have three! Dan swears they could make shoe leather tender, LOL. Perfect for soups! And cooking down sauce, and cooking less tender pieces of meat. And making the house smell heavenly for hours on end. :)

DFW, agreed!

the Goodwife, you are fortunate to have a local source! I find that in baking, sorghum (and molasses) help keep baked goods from drying out so quickly.

Jake, thank you for that! Barb, are you following the comments? I seem to recall that the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog give good growing locations for many of it's varieties of sorghum. I have a piggy bank labeled "sorghum press" and I'm hoping to someday be able to buy one to make our own.