2 (2 ½ – to 3-lb) racks pork baby back ribs (5 to 6 lb total)
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups honey
¾ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
¾ cup all-natural ketchup
10 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Cut each rack of ribs in half. In a small bowl, prepare the spice rub by combining the paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, mustard powder, ginger, salt, allspice and cayenne pepper until well blended. Rub the spice mixture all over both sides of each rack of ribs, coating them evenly.
Stand the ribs along the walls of a large oval (or round) slow cooker (with wide ends down and meaty sides facing the exterior). Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until the ribs are tender. (You can tell the ribs are done when the meat starts to separate as you bend the ribs.)
While the ribs are cooking, prepare the sauce by combining the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes in a large saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about a third.
Position an oven rack 8 inches below the heating element and preheat the broiler. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Use tongs and a metal spatula to transfer the ribs to the prepared baking sheet, meaty-side down. Spoon or brush the sauce over the ribs and broil them for 4 minutes. Carefully turn the ribs over, generously brush them with additional sauce and continue to broil for about 8 minutes, or until the ribs are browned and the sauce is caramelized, brushing with sauce once more about halfway through the cooking time.
(Our notes: Although not included in the original recipe, we noticed that Samantha’s photo in the cookbook included some sesame seeds sprinkled over the top of the cooked and glazed ribs. We loved this idea and included sesame seeds in the ingredients list above. Once the ribs come out of the oven, sprinkle sesame seeds on top.)
Tent the ribs with foil and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cutting board and slicing. Serve the ribs with leftover sauce.