Greek Spiced Spareribs Slow Cooker Recipe

(that's my friend Claudia's plate she left during the super bowl. she might not be getting it back...)

Who's ready for some ribs? Although it's the middle of May, which usually is the beginning of outdoor grilling time, our weather has been so chilly, that I'm perfectly happy staying inside to slow cook my ribs.

Actually, if it was super hot outside, I'd still want to be inside slow cooking my ribs. Ribs just taste better when slow cooked.

I LOVE THESE RIBS! The meat falls right off the bone, and while there are a lot of listed ingredients--it comes together very quickly. This spice combination is fantastic; it'd make an old leather shoe taste good.

The Ingredients.
serves 4-6 or 2 hungry moms

4 pounds pork spareribs (you can use beef, too)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon anise
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (leave intact)
4 whole cloves (leave intact)
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup orange juice

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Place ribs into cooker. In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar with all of the ground spices. Rub this mixture the best you can on all sides of the ribs. Throw in the whole peppercorns and cloves. Drizzle on the honey, and add orange juice.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until meat is super tender and separates from the bone.

The Verdict.

Wonderful. I shared these ribs with my friend Georgia( who happens to be Greek), and we stood in my kitchen the day after I made them and ate the leftovers cold with the refrigerator door wide open. I was planning to reheat them, but she wanted just a nibble, and before we realized what happened we scarfed down 3 ribs each while waiting for the coffee to percolate.

I'm glad the kids were busy watching The Backyardigans so we didn't have to share!

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at May 18, 2010

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What they say about this article

  1. This has nothing to do with this recipe, but I made the Chicken Cordon Bleu out of your book yesterday. OMG, it was wonderful! Usually I'm lazy and use canned soup, but this time I made the roux and I'm so glad I did.


  2. Super delicious! These would be awesome, can't wait to try them, thanks!

    I find myself going to your blog constantly finding crock pot ideas. Thanks!

  3. Ditto what Debbi said. I'm always stopping by for ideas. Those ribs sound great! Do you think it'd be okay if i used pepper instead of peppercorns seeing as I have none?

  4. Anonymous5/18/2010

    How did you know!?!? I was coming here to see if you had a sparerib recipe, since I have a big slap in the fridge right now and I wasn't sure what to do with it. You rock :)

  5. I think ribs are better in the crock pot too! Grilling is good too, but this is easier and tastier!

  6. This sounds really good, but every time i've tried to make ribs in the crockpot, they swim in the fat and just aren't that appetizing. Are these ones swim in fat or do they come out like normal ribs should? Or maybe I'm just not very good at making ribs

  7. hi Toni, sure. Maybe start with 1/2 teaspoon, then add more to taste if needed?

    hi Steph, hmm. I'd pick out pretty lean ribs if you can find them. I don't notice a large amount of fat in the bottom of the crock, or on the meat when I prepare ribs in the slow cooker.


  8. JosephineTomato5/18/2010

    Hi Steph - I've been enjoying your recipes on the blog and in the book - thanks for taking time to enlighten us! I have been looking for a recipe to make 'southern style' ribs and think this would be great, just wondering how to adjust the seasoning so they taste more southern and less greek - any suggestions?

  9. Very good sounding!!

  10. YUMMO!!! I'll be trying this one... I've been hankering for ribs lately and this sounds like a good remedy for me.

  11. I've been hesitant to do ribs in the slow cooker because I have visions of them soaking in the melted fat the entire time. They seemed well-browned in the picture, though. Did you need to drain them at some point, or did you use very lean ribs? Thanks.

  12. This looks very delicious; can't wait to try it. Stephanie, thanks for being "normal" (LOL over your ribs/fridge anecdote.) Love your stories, love your recipes.

  13. I'm ready for a plate of these babies, they look fabulous!

  14. I love ribs done in the slow cooker, but I usually stick them on the grill or under the broiler for a few minutes to give them that nice crispness at the end. It's an extra step but really worth it.

  15. The "eating cold while refrigerator door open" sounds like the ultimate recommendation to me! ;-) Total yum. Son loves ribs ... need to make these for him for sure. Maybe as an apartment warming gift since he's moving and I'll be visiting. :-)

    Thanks, Steph!


  16. I think I know what I'm making this Sunday! These sound soooo good!!

  17. great ribs, they look super moist..i'd keep the plate too..hahah


  18. This recipe is perfect! I love cooking and I always look for something new to cook everyday. That looks really delicious. I'm gonna try this for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  19. I am so making this. I just love RIBS.

  20. This was very tasty! I used 2 lbs of boneless pork stew meat and it worked perfectly. I think you could easily use 3 lbs of boneless meat and it would work as well. I served it with a brown rice pilaf spiced with cinnamon, allspice, and garam masala. Very good complement to the spices in the meat. And my 4 and 7 year olds ate it all up! Thanks for a great recipe to make when it's 90 degrees outside....

  21. Hi! I discovered your blog recently, and wanted to say you have some interesting recipes!
    I tried the pork ribs, although I substituted Chinese 5 spice for the majority of the spices, and it came out delicious!
    Regarding the fat on the ribs, I cut away as much as possible, but next tme I may try another cut of meat, or perhaps chicken. What I liked the most was the taste, the combination of spices and sugar was wonderful. (I used pineapple juice instead of the orange juice, and omitted the fennel seed because I didn't have any.)
    For the 1 kg of ribs, and the high altitude at where I live, the ribs were done in 2 1/2 hrs on high.
    Thanks for sharing!

  22. I'm planning to try these tomorrow - and I'm pleased to see someone else thought of 5-spice powder. I had all the other spices except for the anise- and a small jar was really expensive for something I probably wouldn't use very often. I decided I'd use the 5-spice in the anise's place. I'm also planning to try a yummy looking Maple Bourbon Baked Bean recipe from the latest Cooking Light, but I haven't decided if I'll try that in the crockpot too.

  23. Fixed the ribs while camping this past weekend and everyone thought they were great! No body noticed I used a brown sugar substitute. These will be a regular in our house.

  24. love the website but the pic is freaky.. it looks like a big prehistoric evil fish with a slab of ribs in its mouth.. Do you see it? made me look twice

  25. Lisa D8/22/2010

    Making this today with a couple of substitutions as I didn't have them on hand. Instead of anise I used more fennel seed, instead of cloves I used allspice, and instead of orange juice I used lime juice. Can't wait to taste it.

  26. Having never made ribs in my life I decided to give these a try. WOW, I am so happy I did!! They were so flavorful, and really quite easy! My husband and I sat at the table and huddled over them until only bones remained. THANK YOU for this recipe! It will be made time and again!

  27. Chris Tinsley10/10/2010

    My wife made these a few nights ago and I just couldnt believe how delicious they were! One of our family's new favorites! Thanks for the awesome work

  28. Danielle10/20/2010

    We have had ribs in the fridge now for almost a week and have been wanting to cook them up but every time we use the BBQ they come out dry. We decided on braising them first and then BBQ but in the process of looking up recipes I came across your site (which I knew about but didn't think about using a crock pot for ribs). They have been in there on low all day and the smells are making me so hungry! YUMM! Only thing is there's a lot of liquid in the bottom of the pan. Can't be sure yet if it's fat or juice but the ribs appear to be juicy enough. I turned it down to keep warm so maybe some of it will soak back into the meat. I can't wait to try them out tonight!!! Thanks for all your ideas. :-)

  29. Anonymous3/16/2011

    I made these for my family on Monday after mistakenly defrosting ribs from the freezer, rather than the roast I had planned. Since it was to be a crock pot day, I googled and found this wonderful slow cooker delight! The flavor was rich and sweet (I was short some spices, anise, corriander, cloves) and I imagine it will be more delightful after I properly stock my spice cabinet and try again. Absolutely a winner, thanks for sharing!

  30. These are superb ribs! I used agave instead of honey as I was out, and added about a teaspoon of Greek oregano. I also didn't have anise on hand so I upped the fennel a bit.
    For those who worry about the ribs swimming in fat I have a good tip that works for me every time. Stand the ribs up on their sides, leaning them up against the sides of the crock pot. I also used a fresh orange for the juice, so I just put the halves cut side up in the centre of the pot to keep them from tipping over. After its done cooking all the fat is in the bottom, the ribs are tender and barely any fat is left! I like to squeeze out some of the remaining orange juice over them when they are finished cooking too. A real winner of a recipe!

  31. I've made this a few times as ribs but just finally got an idea to do it as a roast - so good! Same delicious flavors but more meat and no bones. I did a 2 lb roast and the same amount of materials you listed above and it worked perfectly.

  32. These are so yummy!!!! Although, In a rush I just mixed all the ingredients instead of rubbing the pork with the powder stuff. And I slow cooked in the oven at 160 for 2 hours. It was so good!!

  33. I also just did this as a roast (pork shoulder) the other day. I strained the remaining liquid and added a bit of beef stock to make a super flavorful gravy. I can't recommend this recipe enough, its my favorite way to season pork!