I won’t lie, tonight’s dinner was fantastic. The perfect mix of textures and flavors. It was easy to make and quick to serve and might become a top 10 favorite very soon. I wasn’t even offended when my kids put ketchup on the meat, because hey– they were on their second servings and not complaining!
I’m a big fan of pork country ribs but I feel like it’s a complete misnomer. When I think about ribs, I think about meat falling off of a bone. But there isn’t a bone in country ribs, it’s just sections of meat cut into the shape of ribs and contains a wonderful balance of meat and fat (it tends to cook off, so stop worrying). These are great for pulled pork sandwiches too, for future reference.
When you put all of these ingredients in the crock pot, you might worry about not seeing enough liquid– do not add any! The meat and the apples will ooze with flavor and moisture and it will all work out just fine. My apologies for using “ooze” to describe cooking, but when I think about cooking low and slow, it’s totally an ooze, not a rush of flavor. Ooooooze.
This is a great recipe for any time of year, but especially great in the fall if you can get fresh, local apples and make your own apple butter. But there is no shame in buying it pre-made and ready to go… the outcome will be very similar!
Crock Pot Apple Butter Pork
2 lbs country ribs
2 gala apples, cut off the core and then into thick slices
1 sweet onion, cut into half and then into slices
1/2 cup chunky apple butter (chunky apple sauce will work too but the seasonings won’t be as intense)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Put meat in the bottom of crock pot, then layer the rest of the flavors. Cook on high 3-4 hours. Meat will be fork-tender and apples and onions should be soft, maybe a little mushy, but not disintegrating. It’s good if the leaves fall off the thyme- please do not ingest the twigs. Enjoy!