Rinse ribs, and cut into 2-3 rib sections. Pat dry and lay on a baking sheet. Broil on high heat until they begin to brown. You can eliminate this step. I do it because it looks better when served, but it makes no difference to the taste.
Place ribs in crock of at least a 5 quart slow cooker.
Mix the ranch dressing mix and the au jus mix in a small bowl.
Place the butter over the ribs, trying to distribute it evenly, then sprinkle the mixed gravy/dressing evenly over all.
Place the pepperocini over the ribs.
Cover and cook on HI for 5-6 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours (times are approximate--my cooker cooks hot so mine were done in 5 hrs)
When ribs are done (the meat will easily fall off the bone BUT they keep their shape when handled), remove them to a platter and cover to keep warm.
Turn the slow cooker to HI (if it's not already) and add the whiskey and hot sauce if using; stir.
Mix the cornstarch and water. While stirring liquid, pour in only enough of the cornstarch mixture to thicken gravy to your personal preference. Let the gravy cook about 5 minutes.
You may place the ribs back in the crock pot in the gravy to keep them warm if you're not eating immediately. Otherwise, pour the gravy in a gravy boat and serve it along with the ribs.
Mashed potatoes will go very well with this.
Makes 4-6 servings.