I recently tried to recreate a recipe my mother and father would make when I was a child. The Polish version of Barbecued Spare Ribs- Zeberka w Miodze. The difference being, less tomato and honey instead of brown sugar.
The odd thing about this, I believe it's an older recipe. And my parents had never had barbecue when I was younger, yet the similarity between this and the American version is uncanny.
2 lbs. Pork Spare Ribs, rinsed
Oil for frying (I used vegetable oil, since I ran out of Sunflower oil)
2 Onions, thinly sliced
6 Garlic cloves, diced
1 Tomato (see Note)
5 tablespoons Honey
1/2 cup Vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Marjoram, to taste
Basil, to taste
Dried fruits, such as apricots, plums, raisins (you can reduce the honey a bit in this case)
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the spare ribs and allow to sit for 1/2 hour to hour.
Fry the spare ribs on all sides on medium high heat.
In the meantime, in another pot, sweat the onions in a tablespoon of oil. Add garlic. After a couple of minutes, add tomatoes, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, herbs. Simmer for about 15 minutes. See Note.
Place meat in crock pot.
Pour the sauce on top.
Cook on high for about 7 hours.
The question with children, American husband, and picky father? Yes, they all gobbled it up. Although, this is one of very few meat dishes my older daughter is now eating, as she has decided to become a vegetarian for ethical reasons. I'm a proud Mama.
My first attempt, I used 2 fresh tomatoes and 1/2 a can of tomato paste, as well as a cup of water for the crock pot. While it turned out delicious, it wasn't what I wanted. Next time, I plan to use one tomato or 1/2 a can of tomato dice, (plain) sauce, or puree and no water.
I am also thinking to maybe marinade the meat in honey, as well as the salt and pepper, before frying to crispy outside and adding to crock pot.
You can also just add the ingredients into the crock pot without cooking first. Place meat, then onions and garlic, mix the tomatoes, honey, and spices in a bowl and pour over. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, I highly recommend cooking the onions and garlic first and also adding a 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds to the crock pot.
I did not have time to thicken the sauce a bit with a tablespoon or two of flour, as I had added water. I would recommend the flour if your sauce turns out too thin. (Make a roux, add cup of sauce into roux until thickened and bubbly, add back into crock pot for a few minutes until all thickened).