Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs + Paleo BBQ Sauce

Fall officially begins on Saturday and for me that means it is time to bust out the crock pot. (You KNOW how much I love the crock pot, right?) I’ve been doing a little experimenting and revisiting some old stand-bys and I have to say I think this season should be full of yummy (convenient) eats! When it starts getting dark early I all of a sudden crave the Blue Plate Special served promptly at 5pm. The crock pot always helps make that happen.

But it’s also great on the weekends when you are dying for comfort food but don’t want to be standing over the stove — and you can file this recipe in that category. Recently around these parts there was a huge sale on Baby Backs at Whole Foods and I decided I needed some ribs!

Legit need.

You know the kind, right? Tender meat, falling off the bone, covered in saucy deliciousness? I wanted exactly that, except we were in the middle of our Whole 30 and rocking the super strictly Paleo! A good (completely) sugar free BBQ sauce is the El Chupacabra of the Paleo world. You always here that it exists, but up until recently I had never actually had success tasting one.

Luckily I found a recipe for BBQ Sauce in the back of It Starts With Food that was a sugar free riff on a Cooks Illustrated Quick BBQ Sauce and it’s official I HAVE SEEN (AND TASTED) EL CHUPACABRA. So I took to making a huge batch and slathering it all over some ribs!

May I suggest you do the same?

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Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs + Paleo BBQ Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes 2 cups of BBQ Sauce and 2-3 lbs of ribs.
  • 2 Cups Tomato Sauce
  • ⅔ Cups Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Hot Pepper Sauce (I like Trader Joe's Chili Pepper Sauce)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Ghee or GrassFed Butter
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne (use more for extra SPICE!)
  • 1 yellow onion, medium dice
  • 2-3 lbs Pork Baby Back Ribs
  • Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to taste
  1. Mix tomato sauce, apple sauce vinegar, aminos, mustard, hot pepper sauce and black pepper until they are combined
  2. In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat and add garlic, chili powder, paprika and cayenne, stirring until fragrant
  3. Stir in your tomato sauce mixture and bring to a boil
  4. Simmer gently uncovered for 25-30 minutes
  5. Cool to room temperature in mason jar or other refrigerator safe container
  6. Meanwhile prep your crockpot by dicing one yellow onion and spreading it on the bottom of your slow cooker
  7. Liberally season your racks of ribs with salt, pepper and garlic powder
  8. Cut your racks to fit into slow cooker then stack a rack of ribs, coat with BBQ sauce and repeat until it's full.
  9. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the meat is falling off the bones
  10. Serve with a dipper of BBQ sauce on the side

There are lots of different ways to make ribs, and I love experimenting with all cooking methods. But something tells me that with football season coming up and Sundays spent lounging on the couch staying warm that this recipe will be the perfect fit.

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