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Country Pork Ribs are a great economical alternative to traditional ribs. They are EASY to make in the oven and reward you with the most delicious fall-off-the-bone tender ribs that just melt in your mouth!
WHAT ARE COUNTRY PORK RIBS?
Country Style ribs are thick and meaty and laced with fat, and require a low-temperature for slow cooking to render the fat and break down the meat to become fall-off-the-bone-tender and delicious.
Unlike other rib cuts, country-style ribs aren’t actually a true rib at all! Instead, they come from the blade end of the loin very close to the pork shoulder. The shoulder, often called the butt, is the same cut of meat we use to make our Pulled Pork Carnitas, Oven Pulled Pork, Hawaiian Kalua Pork, and our smoked pork butt.
HOW MUCH DO COUNTRY STYLE PORK RIBS COST?
Since these ribs are one of the fattier cuts of meat, they tend to be a little less expensive than a traditional rack of baby back or St. Louis-style ribs so they are actually pretty economical.
Though available year-round, fresh pork is more plentiful from October to February, meaning the prices are also usually lower in the winter months.
Typically, I usually find these country-style pork ribs somewhere around $1.29/pound or less from October to February, but truth-be-told, country-style ribs are not very expensive at all. On the high end, I may see them for about $1.99/lb. to $2.49/lb for the rest of the year.
HOW DO I SELECT THE BEST COUNTRY-STYLE RIBS?
As a rule, look for pork that has a small amount of marbling. This keeps the pork juicy even after slow roasting (See Photo below).
HOW DO I COOK COUNTRY STYLE PORK RIBS?
Roasting country-style ribs are nothing like cooking a rack of baby back ribs so you only need one (or two) to fill you up since they are quite large and chock full of meat.
For best results, I recommend a serving size 1-2 ribs per person.
Instructions for Cooking Country Ribs:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Season the ribs well with salt and pepper, or dry rub and add them to a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and a baking rack. To dry roast, bake for 90 minutes, uncovered. For boneless, I suggest using aluminum foil to cover the ribs as they can sometimes dry out.
- Meanwhile, combine all of the BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until dark, thick, and richly flavored 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning to your desired flavor, if necessary.
After 90 minutes, carefully remove the tray from the oven and carefully pour off any abundance of juices and oils that have collected in the pan.
Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and baste the ribs with BBQ sauce. For brushing on the BBQ sauce, I love these silicone basting brushes that can go right in the dishwasher.
Continue basting in 30-minute intervals, turning the ribs each time you baste with sauce. After 90 minutes, the meat will fall apart it’s so tender – you’ll notice this when you turn the ribs during basting.
Once the ribs are tender, baste them one more time and then move them under the broiler.
Broil the ribs for a minute or two just to caramelize the sauce. The sugars in the sauce can char fast so be sure to stay close to the oven during the broiling process.
WHAT SAUCE DO I PUT ON COUNTRY STYLE PORK RIBS?
You can use any sauce you choose for these oven-baked country style pork ribs from your favorite bottled sauce to your favorite homemade sauce. I’ve included a very basic BBQ sauce with the recipe to help you get you started.
What Ingredients are in a Basic Barbecue Sauce?
- Ketchup – I start with Heinz ketchup but you may use any brand you prefer.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – if you do not have apple cider vinegar plain white vinegar may be substituted
- Molasses – I use Grandma’s Brand Original Old Fashioned Unsulphered Molasses.
- Brown Sugar – light or dark are both fine. Dark brown will result in a slightly darker sauce.
- Ground mustard – prepared mustard may be substituted (See Expert tips in recipe notes section)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Red pepper (chili) flakes – these may be omitted or increased based on your spice preference.
Make Barbecue Sauce in 8 Simple Steps:
- Into a medium-sized saucepan add the ketchup.
- Drizzle in the Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Pour in the molasses
- Add the brown sugar
- Sprinkle in the salt, ground black pepper, and dry mustard (not pictured)
- Add the Red Pepper (chili) flakes, optional.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce darkens and thickens. Adjust spices to your palate.
- Brush onto ribs and enjoy.
Can I use a dry rub on Country Ribs?
Sometimes I start with my Sweet BBQ Rub Recipe. This technique works best with bone-in ribs so that you can leave the foil off during the initial roasting period. Otherwise, the water cakes into spices.
Only use as much as sticks to the rib meat and then remove the excess to avoid caking.
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Oven Baked Country Pork Ribs
- 3 lbs Country-Style Pork Ribs (bone-in) [See Notes 1 & 2]
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
For the Basic Barbecue Sauce
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons ground mustard (See Expert Tips)
- 1 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (Optional - to taste)
- 2 to 4 dashes Liquid Smoke (Optional)
- 2 to 4 dashed Favorite Hot Sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder (Optional)
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Season the ribs well with salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and fitted with a baking rack.
For Bone-in, dry-roast for 90 minutes, uncovered. [See Note 3]
For Boneless, cover with foil and bake for 90 minutes. [See Notes 1 & 2]
- Meanwhile, combine all of the BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until dark, thick, and richly flavored 10 to 15 minutes.Pour off any abundance of grease that has collected in the pan.
- After 90 minutes, remove the baking tray from the oven and carefully pour off any abundance of liquid and oil that has collected in the pan. [See Note 4]
- Next, increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Baste the ribs with BBQ sauce and return, uncovered, to the oven.
- Continue basting in 30-minute intervals, turning the ribs each time you baste with sauce. After 90 minutes, the meat will begin to fall apart it's so tender – you’ll notice this when you turn the ribs during basting.
- Once the ribs are tender, increase the oven to broil. While the oven heats, baste the ribs one last time before returning to the oven.
- Broil the ribs for a minute or two just to caramelize the sauce. The sugars in the sauce can char fast so be sure to stay close to the oven during the broiling process.
- Bone-in ribs work well with this recipe and usually stay moist and tender throughout the process.
- Look for packages with smaller sized rib sections. Smaller ribs will cook faster and similarly sized ribs will result in more even cooking.
- If you prefer to use boneless ribs, consider covering them with foil to keep moisture in and keep the ribs from becoming dry.
- When dry roasting you may also use a dry rub, like my Sweet BBQ Rub.
- Thank you Pattie R. for reminding me that we needed to carefully drain the excess liquid and oil before the basting process begins.
- Country style ribs are big and meaty, for calculating how many you will need for a group, I recommend a serving size 1-2 ribs per person.
- Fresh pork is typically more plentiful from October to February, meaning pork prices are usually lower over the winter months. Typically, I find these country-style pork ribs somewhere around $1.29/pound or less between October and February.
- Prepared Mustard may be substituted for Dry Ground Mustard. The conversion rate is usually 1 tablespoon of prepared mustard in place of 1 teaspoon dried mustard.
- In this recipe, I would start with 2-3 tablespoons of prepared mustard and increase to taste - stirring and cooking the sauce between additions.
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