Now ain’t that just a pickle yer in! Or is the pickle in you?

Beef / December 18, 2015

I have a sister who, in spite of her efforts to lay low, is really the true genius of our family. She’s not shy, she just understands that being stealthy gets you closer to the action than being loud (like me!). Sure, she tries to fly under the radar, but her talents are too endearing to go unrewarded, and are rivaled only by her brilliant sense of humor and cleverness. For instance, take her choice of snacks. When we were little she absolutely LOVED drinking pickle juice. And she would eat a raw onion the way you and I eat a Red Delicious apple. And when she wasn’t grossing me out with her dare-devil morsels of horror, she was threatening to create one. Bottom line, she was always able to maintain the upper hand; never in the pickle, always in control of it.

I’m pretty sure you’ll have the upper hand when you make this meal. Inspired by a recipe for a marinade I saw on, this 2-step process for tender pork is so unbelievably easy it hardly counts as cooking. However…do NOT tell your guests this. You should serve dinner still wearing an apron so you receive all the accolades that will follow after the first bite. And come they will… The sweet, syrupy broth that hugs those fall apart pieces of pork just beg to be eaten in haste. THEN there’s that perfect, tangy accompaniment to any pig-meal: Yes, pickles. Except in this case, I added them to cooked potatoes and carrots, and covered it all with a creamy, herbal, tangy sweet pickle vinaigrette. YUM.

Oh, and if you decide to serve a little pickle juice as a before dinner drink, I will give you my sister’s number. She will even bring her own shot glass.

Brown Sugar & Soy Crock Pot Ribs With a Warm Potato Carrot Salad and Sweet Pickle Vinaigrette

Inspired by a recipe on

Serves 4


2 ½ lbs pork loin ribs, separated with bone in (any pork is fine. I like the bone in. MORE flavor in the broth!!!)


1/3 C packed light brown sugar
½ C honey
¼ C soy sauce
½ t garlic salt
3/4 C water
½ yellow onion rough chopped
1 T corn starch
Salt and Pepper to taste


1 very large or 2 small russets chopped into a small dice, no need to peel.
2 large carrots also diced small
4-5 sweet pickles, diced

Want more of a kick? Add about 1/3 hot mustard to the marinade, and/or ¼ C of your favorite hot sauce!
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice2 T sweet pickle juice
2 T mayonnaise
¼ t dried thyme
2-3 chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Mix ingredients for the marinade, and put half the marinade in a zip lock bag with the meat. Massage to insure the marinade is covering meat and let marinate at least 3 hours or overnight, turning at least once. Then place ribs and all liquid in a crock put. Pour the rest of the marinade over the meat. Add ¾ C water. Salt and pepper GENEROUSLY! Add the onion and stir. Cook on high for 6 – 6.5 hours, or until tender. Remove about ½ C of the liquid, mix it well with the cornstarch. Then add corn starch mixture back into the crock pot and stir. Cover again and turn to low for about 5 minutes, stirring and checking often to gauge the thickness of the gravy. I like mine fairly thin.
  • Put the diced carrots in a sauce pan and cover with water. Let boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and return veggies to pan. In another small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients to make the dressing, whisking well, adding the pickles to the mixture last. Then drizzle over the vegetables, toss, and then taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

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