Noreen's Kitchen: Sweet & Spicy Cola Riblets! Delicious Game Day Food For a Crowd on the Cheap!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sweet & Spicy Cola Riblets! Delicious Game Day Food For a Crowd on the Cheap!

Here is a recipe for a simple and delicious offering for your next party, potluck, picnic, tailgate party, or Super Bowl gathering!  Sweet and spicy cola riblets are cost effective and extremely tasty.  You can cook up a big batch of these tasty morsels for a little bit of cash and have these cooking while you visit with your guests or watch the big game!

Riblets are a cut of meat that was once simply thrown out by the butcher.  They are what is considered an "off cut" in butchering terms.   Wikipedia explains riblets this way:
            A riblet is an alternative to ribs. The actual riblet is the portion of a loin back rib (or baby back rib) that is cut off at the top (nearest the back bone) to give the rib a more uniform look. Loin back ribs don't always have this removed. When not removed they have a rounded look to them and are often referred to as baby back ribs. Riblets used to be thrown out by butchers, but have become popular due to their excellent flavor and lower cost.
Button ribs (or feather bones) are often confused with riblets mostly because Applebee's sells these as "riblets". In fact, what Applebee's sells is found just past the ribs near the back bone, just underneath the tenderloin. This cut of meat actually has no bones, but instead has "buttons" of cartilaginous material with meat attached. The riblet cut was invented in Brisbane, Australia in 1986 by an English man named Robert Wilson, who was born in Liverpool.

Rib tips (or brisket) are found at the bottom of the spare ribs by the sternum. The rib tips have a high proportion of cartilage. The rib tips give the spare ribs a rounded appearance. In an attempt to give the meat a more uniform appearance and make it easier to eat, this piece is sometimes removed, and the remaining spare ribs are referred to as Saint Louis style ribs.

This batch of ribs will be the easiest you have ever made, because they are baked off and then slow cooked the rest of the way.  I love this method because I am actually not the best at making ribs.  So these fit the bill when my husband wants ribs and I don't want to pay for an expensive restaurant dinner.  This is also the best way to feed a crowd some delicious ribs!

I did a basic dry rub, or really a sprinkle of some of my favorite rib rub on these tiny racks of riblets.  I just shingled the meat on a rack that was placed on a baking sheet that I lined with both foil and parchment paper to make clean up easy.  I just sprinkled the rub on one side of the meat.  I sprinkled my favorite Szeged Rib Rub as well as some garlic powder, cracked pepper and good, old fashioned seasoned salt on the riblets.  




I placed them into a 350 degree oven for about a half hour.  I was able to get all 10 pounds of ribs on to two sheet pans and I roasted them on separate racks in the oven, offset from each other and made sure to switch them half way through cooking to ensure even roasting.

When they were done roasting, they were delicious on their own, but we moved on and put the riblet racks into the vessle of the slow cooker then built the sauce!  



Brown sugar, Chipoltle peppers with a bit of their adobo as well as some grainy mustard, molasses and about three cups of a good quality, all natural, cane sugar cola were stirred together to make a wonderful elixir in which the ribs could slow cook. We cooked these for 2 hours on high and another 2 hours on low.  We cooked ours until they were falling off the bone tender.

We at a wonderful supper that night and I allowed the rest of the riblets to cool completely, and put my clean hands in there to remove all the little "button bones" from the pot.  This took a bit longer than I thought because every time I thought I was done, I found more bones.  Be warned, when you do this, you will want to warn your family that they need to be careful of any remaining bones when you serve the leftovers as pulled pork on sandwiches with delicious buns and coleslaw!

Less than eight dollars will give you enough riblet racks for a crowd or enough to feed your family at least three meals.  In my book that is one really awesome way to stretch your dollar! 

I hope you will give these delicious sweet and spicy cola riblets a try.  Remember, you don't have to limit yourself to riblets, you can use this sauce on anything you like from regular spare ribs, baby back ribs, pork tenderloin, pork shoulder, even chicken breasts, short ribs or pot roast or brisket would be amazing with this sauce!

I hope you give this recipe a try and I hope you love it!

Happy Eating!

If you would like to see how I made these, have a look here! 


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