You're right! It's hard not to drink the sauce. I had to re-dunk after every bite. Anyhow, I thought I'd share since everyone loves photos...and almost everyone loves ribs!
These ribs have a slight Asian flavor, but only because of the ginger and anise. Leave that out and you'd just have some sticky goodness. I'd actually like to get the sauce thicker and stickier, so I might substitute honey or molasses for the sugar, or just use more sugar.
Never one to take a recipe literally, I tweaked the linked recipe to accomodate what I had in my kitchen. Plus, the original recipe is for SIX pounds of meat! I ended up with:
-two two foot long strips of pork short ribs (2.5 lbs?)
-12 oz can of tomatoes, blended in a blended
-1/4 cup VERY good soy sauce (Kim Lan Special Soy Sauce)
-1/2 cup rice wine
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 star anise
-5 smashed cloves of garlic
-four thin slices of ginger (about two millimeters thick each)
-didn't have green onions, but would definitely use one large one
-no salt needed
-cider vinegar to taste
Cut the meat into chunks (one chunk per bone), then seared on all sides in a cast iron skillet. I used the residual fat, and a little canola oil, to sear the garlic and ginger (green onion too, if you have it).
Pulse the seared vegetables with the sugar and soy sauce in a blender just until the garlic was broken up (I like a few chunkier pieces). Pour the soy sauce mixture, the tomato mixture, and the ribs into a crock pot. Stir to mix and coat. Taste, and adjust to your liking. I threw in a tablespoon of black pepper, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and a teaspoon of cayenne at this point.
Now here's where the kitchen science gets fuzzy. I had the crock pot on for about 4 hours before I went to bed yesterday. Before I went to sleep, the ribs were edible but tasted a bit dry. I was sad. I went to work today, tortured by the prospect of having to eat dry ribs for dinner.
I got home, turned the crock pot back on, and proceeded to make some spearmint gelato to cheese myself up (post to follow!). After about an hour, I tried a rib. Wow! Great! No longer dry, it was moist and soft, and just fell off the bone. Delicious, sweet, tangy. Great. BF and I both wolfed these down with some jasmine rice and stir fried spinach.
So I either simply hadn't cooked it long enough the night before, or soaking in the sauce overnight forced the meat to absorb some moisture. Any ideas?