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Sep 7, 2012 04:55 PM

Country Style Spare Ribs

I have fond memories of chowing on these as a kid. These were meaty ribs (on the bone, of course), that my mother would marinate, baste in barbeque sauce, then bake. How they retained their juiciness, I'll never know.

Do you have a good recipe for the grill (I'm not turning on the oven tomorrow) particularly one whose marinade/sauce has little sugar? I've a hankering for these....prob. because of that damn "Do you eat the fat" thread on General Topics.

Thank you!

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  1. What does "country style" mean? (I'm not being a wiseass -- I really don't know.)

    7 Replies
    1. re: drongo

      Country-style ribs are cut from the blade end of the loin close to the pork shoulder. They are meatier than other rib cuts. They contain no rib bones, therefore are not technically ribs.

      That being said, I generally prefer these to "real" ribs, as they have a lot more meat to them.

      1. re: al b. darned

        Thank you al...said it better than I could/did. It's my mistake to have called them ribs. I blame my mom! There are a lot of good posts from 2009 about cooking them, but most lean toward using the oven. This may be stupid on my part, but I'd like to try all grill, and not a sweet sauce.

        1. re: pinehurst

          Low and slow on the country style ribs. Standard rub - it's pork. I'd simply smoke em, and then web up a sauce that sounds interesting. Maybe something a little mustardy?

          1. re: gordeaux

            Good point....mustard loves pork and pork loves mustard. I was such a stupid kid, not writing more stuff down about recipes, etc, when I was young. I thought everyone would live forever.

            1. re: pinehurst

              Actually, they are great for Jerk too. A jar of Walkerswood jerk seasoning paste if you don't wanna make your own. Pork, jerk, and smoke is a VERY good thing.

          2. re: pinehurst

            It's my mistake to have called them ribs.
            No mistake, that is what they are called. I have done them on the grill, but it takes a while.
            I also like them in the pressure cooker.

        2. re: drongo

          We call them "country style" ribs because of of how they are, not what primal they come from.

          A scrappy ugly left over loin chop can be butterflyed and sold as CSR. More frequently it is from the shoulder, as it is more difficult to make attractive regular sized cuts because of the the bone structure there.

        3. I usually dry rub them, and then let them sit over night.
          Rub: Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and dried orange zest.

          I smoke them with citrus wood until they up to about 170 degrees internal temp. (round 4 or 5 hours at 220 to 225 degrees).

          Then I'll let the meat rest, and then serve them with some greens and grits.

          6 Replies
          1. re: deet13

            170??? Dear God, why? 145 is more than enough, unless you want them super-overcooked.

            1. re: MGZ

              Well if they were regular pork cuts, I agree that 140 through 145 degrees would give you a nice medium rare chop.

              But the cuts like country style ribs tend to have a good deal of fat and connective tissues. So I prefer to cook them long enough to break down those tissues.

              1. re: deet13

                But the cuts like country style ribs tend to have a good deal of fat and connective tissues. So I prefer to cook them long enough to break down those tissues.
                I agree. It took me a long time to figure this out.

                I start them in the oven or in the slow cooker and finish on the grill. My gas grill just won't go low enough to cook them from start to finish on the grill.

                1. re: deet13

                  In my area "country style" ribs have very little fat or collagen and are in fact much closer to a pork chop in meatiness. I typically only direct grill them over a modest coal/wood fire.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    i agree -- the country style ribs i have ever had were quite lean.

                    1. re: MGZ

                      I think the term "country style" may mean different things regionally, or perhaps even from one grocery store to another. Sometimes it is a loin cut, sometimes it is a shoulder cut. My local grocer has this listed in their current ad : "Pork Shoulder Western Ribs or Pork Loin Country Style Ribs". I know that in discussion with others on my favorite barbecue board, many will call the shoulder cut "country style". So perhaps some of us are talking about two different cuts. I still get confused, and when my wife asks which to buy, I just tell her "get the shoulder cut, no matter what it is called". Because that is my preference, I will cook it much like deet13 mentioned. That cut needs the time and higher internal temp. If I was cooking the loin cut, I would definitely agree with you, MGZ.

              2. I prefer a marinade over a rub on country style ribs -- something acidic, like a spiced up orange juice -- do this overnight -- don't drown them but turn them a few times. Low and slow is best IF you have the gas and the time to keep an eye on flare-ups. Can't go wrong if you marinade them FIRST, ...then rub, then in a low/slow oven. Make a fab sauce and mop them toward end of cooking and crank it up for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce. Woo HOO.

                1. The original comment has been removed
                  1. Deet and ashley...does the sugar do anything to the pork beyond flavor? Is it a tenderizer? I would like to cut out the sugar from any rub, or cut way way way down.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: pinehurst

                      No, the sugar is not a tenderizer at all. You can remove all of it if you like with no affect on the texture of the meat.

                      1. re: pinehurst

                        the sugar will counteract FLAVOR of the salt somewhat, in my opinion. so, when sugar is omitted, the rub will taste saltier.

                        i have done dry rubs and marinades for country-style ribs…both techniques are fine, but the ribs are LEAN, so don't overcook them.

                        by the way, a really good jerk recipe is steve raichlen's "rasta ribs" recipe -- wow -- it is something deliciously addictive. i don't use the habanero dried ground pepper…just cayenne is hot enough for me -- which is still hot.

                        1. re: pinehurst

                          You don't need the brown sugar, that's just how I'm usually asked to make them.