Harissa Coconut Slow Cooker Pork Ribs
2.5# boneless pork shoulder ribs (sometimes labeled country style)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 medium onion, large dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 Tbl harissa paste (You can find this at large Kroger stores. If you use powder, use 1 Tbl with 1tsp oil.)
2 small jalapenos or serranos, finely diced
1 small can coconut milk (unsweetened, or half a regular sized can)
1 Tbl soy sauce
1 tsp coriander
Juice of one lime
fresh cilantro for serving
Clean ribs of all surface fat. Combine next 5 ingredients in a large bowl and coat ribs thoroughly. Heat up a large pan with a couple Tbl of oil and sear the pork ribs. Don’t burn the sugar, but get them nicely browned; season lightly with salt and black pepper. Put ribs back in the spice rub bowl and set aside. Put 3/4 of the onion, garlic, harissa and chiles in the drippings from the ribs and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in coconut milk and soy sauce and bring up to boil, kill heat.
In a crock pot, spray the crock with food release such as Pam and put reserved onions in the bottom. Layer in ribs with any leftover rub and drippings. Then sprinkle second tsp of coriander and 1/4 tsp salt over ribs. Pour the veg and coconut milk mixture over ribs. Cook on low for 4-5 hrs or high for about 3-3.5 hours. Feel free to add a little water or stock if you feel they are too dry.
After the ribs are cooked and soft, remove from the crock pot and set aside. Put a screen sieve over a small pan and strain the liquids into the pot (OR if you like a chunkier sauce as I do, just leave all the veg in there and give it a quick whizz with the immersion blender to make the sauce). Let the sauce sit for 15 minutes or so, to let the fat rise to the top. Ladle off as much fat as you can, then put the sauce over medium heat and simmer until it thickens. If it doesn’t get as thick as you’d like, add a tsp of cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbl water and boil for 2 minutes to tighten it up. After the sauce is done and off heat, add the lime juice. (Adding lime juice before a boil will make it bitter.)
Serve over polenta or grits with the sauce spooned over and fresh cilantro leaves on top. Or serve with broccoli or other veg for low carb.