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Ribs to the Rescue: Delicious and simple game-day winners

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Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Mon Mar 10, 2014.

(Family Features) You've got your favorite team. Your bracket is ready to go. All that's left to do is choose the perfect menu star while the competition on the court - and on the sidelines - heats up. Serve up something your friends and family will love almost as much as the game itself: pork.

The traditional favorites are great, but to take your game-day gathering a notch above the rest, try a winning recipe like Slow-Cooker Root Beer Ribs. The perfect choice for serving a fired-up crowd, these fall-off-the-bone, St. Louis-style spareribs are known for their delicious, meaty pork flavor. Slow-cooked until tender in a root beer-infused sauce with a chili powder kick, these ribs are easy enough to prepare that you won't have to miss any of the action.

For sides, try:

  • A refreshing slaw with a hint of sweetness from apples, oranges or raisins
  • Oven-roasted sweet potato fries, dipped in extra sauce from the ribs
  • Extra-creamy macaroni and cheese with bacon

If you're entertaining a large crowd, make one batch with root beer and try another with cola, and let your guests pick their favorite. Garnish with thin slivers of red onion for a trophy-worthy presentation. If you don't have a slow cooker, roast ribs until tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

To round out your game-day menu with more juicy, tender pork recipes, visit www.porkbeinspired.com.

Slow-Cooker Root Beer Ribs

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Root Beer Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 racks St. Louis-style pork spare ribs, (2 1/3 to 3 pounds each), cut into 3- or 4-rib sections
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounce can) root beer, (not diet), divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

Preparation:

  1. Combine sugar, chili powder, salt, onion powder and allspice in medium bowl. Set aside half spice mixture (about 1/3 cup); sprinkle rest over both sides of ribs. Pour 1/2 cup root beer into slow cooker and add ribs. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours or on high for 3 1/2-4 hours, until ribs are very tender.
  2. With 10 minutes left on ribs, combine remaining root beer and reserved spice mixture in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce thickens, just a few seconds. Remove from heat; set aside.
  3. Remove ribs to platter and cover. Strain cooking liquid and pour off fat. Add 1/3 cup remaining liquid to sauce; stir until smooth.
  4. Brush ribs with sauce, serve with remaining sauce on side.

6 servings

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