Sweet and Tangy Grilled Country-Style Pork Ribs

Usually ribs take all day to make properly; a long relaxing process that I love. I once tried Chris Kimball’s One Hour Rib recipe; the flavor was good (if somewhat nontraditional).  Today’s recipe speeds the process using a different cut of meat; Country-Style Pork Ribs. I looked forever to find country-style pork ribs in all my local supermarkets; and finally discovered they we not labelled as such; they were called “Pork Loin Rib End Bone-in for BBQ”. I updated some pictures.”. The browning time as prescribed by Chris Kimball in Step 7 of 2 to 3-1/2 minutes per side was completely insufficient; mine took over 5 minutes per side. But because the ribs also spend time cooking on the cool side of the grill, be sure to brown them sufficiently (assuming you have a meat thermometer, it’s no big deal to adjust the timing). My only other complaint is that the ribs were too slimy when coming off the grill; so I gave the sauce a quick char on the hot side of the grill. Overall, 4-stars.

Delicious BBQ pork with itty bitty ribs

Delicious BBQ pork with itty bitty ribs

Comments/Issues:

  1. While Chris Kimball’s original recipe say that you can apply the dry rub as little as 1 hour beforehand, its much better if you apply it the night before.
  2. As mentioned above; the cooking times were nowhere near correct. The original recipe calls for as little as 15 minutes on the grill; mine took almost 30 minutes to come to the correct temperature. I use their same chimney starter, their same Weber grill, and their same Kingsford charcoal. I’m not sure why there was such a big discrepancy.
  3. Be sure to use the small holes of a box grater; the sauce spends so little time cooking that otherwise the onion will not break down.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $20.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess? Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Ready at 6:15 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe for the ribs are here. And the recipe for the sauce is here. My descriptions of how I prepare it are given below:

On Evening Before Dinner:
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 pounds bone-in country-style pork ribs
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, plus extra for serving (See recipe below)

  1. Trim away any excess fat from the ribs. In a small bowl, combine 4 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  2. Rub the spice mixture all over the ribs, and tightly wrap is plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight (or for as little as 1 hour, if necessary)

On Day of the Meal:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup grated onion (1 small onion)
1 garlic clove
1 cup ketchup
5 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Open your bottom vent halfway, and ignite a chimney starter filled with charcoal (6 quarts). When the top-most coals become partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill, leaving the other-side empty. Replace the cooking grate, cover grill, and set the lid vent open halfway. Pre-heat for 5 minutes, then clean and oil the grill grate.
  2. While the charcoal ignites, make your sauce. In a medium bowl, add together ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, and pepper; whisk to combine. Set aside until Step 5 (only about 5 minutes).
  3. Use the small holes of a box grater to grate the onion, and mince your garlic clove. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add grated onion and minced garlic; cooking for between 2 to 4 minutes until the onion is softened.
  4. Add chili powder and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds to bloom the spices.
  5. Whisk ketchup mixture into pan and bring up to boil. Turn down burner to medium-low; allow to gently simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add 1/2 cup of bbq sauce to a small bowl, which you will use to baste the ribs. Bring an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup to the table for serving. The remaining cup of bbq sauce can be refrigerated for a week.
  7. Arrange ribs on the hot-side of grill. Cover and cook ribs cook the first side for 3 to 5 minutes until they become well browned. Flip the ribs and cook (covering again) for 3 to 5 minutes until they become brown. (My ribs took longer to become nicely browned, but wait because you can always reduce the cooking time on the cooler side of the grill, as necessary).
  8. Once browned, move ribs to cooler side of grill without flipping. Brush the tops with 1/4 cup of bbq sauce. Again, cover and cook for 6 minutes. Flip ribs and brush another 1/4 cup bbq sauce. Cover and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes until internal temperature of the pork reaches 150-degrees,
  9. Remove the ribs to serving platter, tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Serve, passing 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra sauce separately.
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8 Responses to Sweet and Tangy Grilled Country-Style Pork Ribs

  1. Here in Wisconsin there are things labeled “country style ribs” which are not ribs at all just meat cut to look like that. I made this recipe and it was disastrous. OK, maybe disaster is too strong a word. the flavor was fine but the meat was really tough. You’re right though about the timing. In general, I find things happen very quickly in his kitchen, things brown and liquids reduce at a much quicker rate than in my kitchen.

    • Hi Michael,

      When I get home from work today I will update the post with a picture of the label here in NYC area (I forgot to upload before I left for work this morning).

      Because the timing was so messed up, I was very careful about taking each rib off when it hit 150-degrees, so mine were not so tough. But the uneven mixture of light and dark meat maybe just meant that I got lucky.

      Mark

  2. drew says:

    so how were the “country-style pork ribs” labelled in the store?

  3. SoCalMom says:

    Hi, I’m usually able to find “country-style pork ribs” in my area without any difficulty. What do they call this cut in your area?

  4. Pam says:

    Country style ribs in this part of the world are sometimes labelled “pork fingers”. They are boneless and almost always from the shoulder, not the loin. If they are from the loin, they are usually labelled as Pork Loin Country Style Ribs.

  5. Bobi Pixiley says:

    These ribs come come from the shoulder butt of the pig. The bone is actually their shoulder blade. I’m just glad to find a recipe that makes them so they aren’t falling off the bone. More like traditional ribs but with more meat. This is one of the cuts used for pulled pork when braised for a long time.

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