Ribs to the Rescue: Delicious and Simple Game-Day Winners

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(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


  • 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


  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

National Pork Board


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