Low and Slow Winter Country Ribs


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Country ribs. Big slabs of porky goodness cut from the shoulder of the hog. But boneless or bone-in, these are nothing like a rack of ribs. They are chunky logs of pork, trimmed with a small amount of fat, and they require slow, low-temperature cooking to become delicious. That’s the downside: You can’t do a fast country rib. The upside is that they are all meat, so you’re quick to fill up.

The best way to cook country ribs is over a wood fire, but you can cook them on a charcoal or gas grill. I did these in the oven because it’s winter and I didn’t want to brave going outdoors to the grill. Any of these methods work – but just repeat after me: Low and slow… low and slow…

You’ll want to sauce these ribs with something. It can be as simple as cider vinegar, or you could use your favorite barbecue sauce. I used my favorite bottled version and added a few things to give it an extra punch.

Ingredients
6-8 country ribs, about 3 pounds (quantity will vary depending on size of individual ribs – I got ribs from Porter Road Butcher and they were very large so I cut them in half.)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
I bottle Dark amber beer (I used Negra Madelo)
2-3 cups of the barbecue sauce of your choice (store bought or your own awesome sauce)
I also added to my BBQ sauce (use 2 cups bbq sauce if you’re adding ingredients below – otherwise use 3 cups):
1 hearty tablespoon garlic paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (what’s-this-here-sauce)
1/4 cup of your favorite Bourbon

DSC_0014The Fab Four that made my BBQ sauce

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Soak ribs in beer for at least 8 hours, overnight is best. I did mine for almost 24 hours.
That should be the max you soak them or they will start to shrivel.

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Remove from beer and sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper.

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Now coat ribs in your sauce and put on a rack on a foil-lined pan.

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Make sure your ribs are about 2 inches apart so they have room to breath.
Which is why you have them on the rack so the heat can circulate all around.

Now put your pan of ribs in a 250 degree oven (middle rack). You’re going to cook these for 4-5 hours… however, leave them alone for the first 90 minutes… then you will pull them out, turn them over and brush more sauce on them every 30 minutes until done.

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Be sure to get all four sides of the ribs!

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And don’t skimp on the sauce!

You will know they are ready when the meat starts to fall apart a little when you turn them. This means the fat has rendered into the meat and the connective tissues have broken down. When you finally get to this step, it’s time to brush them with sauce one last time and then move the ribs up to the top (or broiler) rack and finish them off at 350 degrees for 5 minutes… to get those yummy, crunchy, charred edges you would normally get on a fire grill. But be careful – no more than 5 minutes or you will undo all your hard work and dry out your ribs!

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Voila! A plate of succulent goodness. Bon apetit!

The Perfect Bite
For me the “money bite” is right in the center of the rib, it’s the juiciest! But you also may love a fatty-end… it will literally melt in your mouth.

The Perfect Pairing
I normally list a wine for pairing but since these are filled with bourbon and beer goodness… I’d stay on theme. Try them with the beer you marinated them in, in my case Negra Madelo. Or try them with my infamous Red-Headed Martini (made of bourbon and beer!). These will also go really well with my Spicy Mac & Cheese as a side dish.

The Perfect Health
It’s true: Pork really is the other white meat. Ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin has less fat than a chicken breast. And food scientists are finding ways to make it leaner and leaner every year. Cured pork such as ham, bacon and pancetta are treated with salt, nitrates and sugar for preservation and are where all the bad health properties come from… but fresh pork, on the other hand, receives minimal processing, if any, and includes chops, ribs and roast. For more information read HERE.

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