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Western pork ribs or what can two people make from a pork shoulder roast

I was looking at a recipe for western pork ribs and read that they are made from a pork shoulder roast. I have seen lots of recipes here on Chowhound for pulled pork, etc made from a pork shoulder roast, but I have yet to make anything as there is no way my wife and I could eat it all before getting tired of it.

So, my question is could I get a decent sized pork shoulder roast, and say, cut it in half to make the ribs from it for one meal, and then maybe freeze the rest to make some pulled pork a week later?

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    1. A good sized shoulder will give you enough for many other uses besides pulled pork. Shoulder is a pretty useful meat. You can grind some up for sausage or meatballs. You should be able to get a few pork steaks off a shoulder. And you can cut some country-style ribs for braising.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bagofwater

        And your butcher will cut it, grind it for free!

      2. I cook only for myself. When I buy a pork shoulder, I take it apart into some smaller roasts, thin cutlets, bite-size slices for stir-fries, and chunks for braising. I freeze these in separate packages, and make broth for pea/bean soup from the bone.

        1. Thanks. The shoulder roasts I see at my local HEB (Texas grocery chain) are boneless that I recall. But, I'll take a look this weekend...

          1. Can the whole roast be made into pulled pork and then frozen into separate serving sizes? With or without sauce?

            2 Replies
            1. re: THoey1963

              Certainly. In the sauce makes more sense as it somewhat protects the meat from freezer burn.

              1. re: THoey1963

                When I know I'm going to pull some and freeze some, I do not pull the portion I'm going to freeze. Freeze it in a big chunk. The less surface area the less it will dry out due to freezing. Sometimes I BBQ 2 or 3 butts and freeze them whole. Rarely do I sauce. When I do it's before I eat.

              2. Not that long ago, I posted a link to a recipe for Braised Pork in Soy Sauce featured on NPR. Here's the link to that thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831304 I have made it almost a dozen times now and think it is great. My modifications appear on the thread and the original recipe is in the contained link. It's a great way to use pork shoulder (when you don't feel like choppin' wood and gettin' the offset fired up).

                1 Reply
                1. Your post is the first time I have ever heard of 'western pork ribs'. I did a quick search and discovered it is another reference to country-style pork ribs. They are cut from the pork shoulder, with or without the bone. So the answer to your question is yes, that's exactly what you can do. In Minnesota, we can buy the pork shoulder already cut into 'country style ribs' with or without the bone for just a bit more than pork shoulder costs.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: John E.

                    Country Style Ribs shall include the first three, but no more than the first six ribs from the blade end of the pork loin. These are true CS ribs. ~~ "Ribs" that are cut/sliced from the pork butt are not true ribs, and in the old days were called/labeled Western Style Ribs to differentiate between them and true CS ribs. Today you will see them labeled any which way. A couple of independents near me still label them CS and Western Style. The label 'should' state either pork loin or pork shoulder. This is not always the case. A good eye can see the difference. Either one of the cuts make good eats.

                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      As they say, you can learn something new every day. Thanks. I actually don't really care for bone-in country style ribs because I never know what I'm going find once I open the packaging. Sometimes there are odd shards of bone. When doing ribs I usually get spare ribs and cut them down to St. Louis style. For all other pork applications where low and slow is the desired result I always buy pork shoulder whether I'm doing pulled pork or carnitas, or something else.

                  2. You could also do half ribs - half "pernil" Cuban / puertorican pork roast - It's very good.


                    I also love to use the "country spare ribs" to saurkruat and briased pork... Multitude of options on this one. Have fun