Friday, March 19, 2010

Country Style Pork Ribs

I think pork shoulder has an inferiority complex. Or at least an identity crisis.

First of all, the amazing "pork butt" is really the pork shoulder. Second, "country style pork ribs" really aren't ribs at all, they're from the pork shoulder too. Yet they insist on going by different names, ashamed of their true identity.

It kind of reminds me of the advice Mitch Hedberg gives turkey at the 3:50 mark in this video...

I had some of these country style IMPOSTOR pork ribs and they whispered to me that they wanted to hook up with some sweet hickory smoke.

So I rubbed them with a 2 to 1 mix of my pork chop rub (below) and black pepper.

NMT Pork Chop Dry Rub

1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c turninado sugar
1/4 c smoked paprika
2 T garlic salt
2 T kosher salt
1 t black pepper, smoked
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t cumin
1/4 t allspice
1/2 t dried thyme

Then I put them in the Big Green Egg at 275f indirect heat.
[Gas Grill Subtitle] Turn your burner(s) on one side to get a 275f temp and put the ribs on the other side.
[Oven Subtitle] Put the ribs on a raise rack in a 275f oven.
[Kung Fu Subtitle] You have defiled my family name. Cook me some ribs or I will snap your neck.

Can't you just hear the Barry White music playing while Country Style Ribs and Sweet Hickory Smoke get acquainted inside of the Egg?

While they did their thing, I made a variation of a side dish that we loved before. We added sliced baby bella mushrooms tonight but we decided it didn't really add anything to the dish so next time we'd skip the addition. Plus the quality of the green beans was seriously lacking. But subbing the chicken stock for water was a definite "must keep" addition.

Green Beans with Onion
source: adapted from Step by Step Cookbook

1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 ea white onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions in a large pot for about 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Whisk tomato paste and chicken stock together. Add the tomato mixture, oregano, salt, pepper and beans to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until beans are tender.

Oh yeah, back to the impostor ribs. So when the ribs hit an internal temp of about 165f, brush them lightly with your favorite BBQ sauce. Raise the cooker (Egg, grill, oven) temp to 350f and cook until the internal temp hits 175f.

Let rest for 10 minutes.

Drizzle a thinned bbq sauce over the rib and serve. This is another area where you can have fun. Most folks expect their BBQ to be drenched in a thick sweet sauce. It really doesn't need that. Go light. Thin a bit of a commercial BBQ sauce with something like balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, wine, stock or beer and just drizzle it over the meat. Play around and find one that YOU like and it will become YOUR signature sauce.

The dinner was great but I totally screwed the pooch on the food styling of this shot.

The actual plate was totally wrong for the green beans, it stole the color of the tomato sauce. I should have gone with a white plate or light colored plate. Oh well, the food was good, the photography was okay and food styling comes in a distant third in priorities anyway. But I'm learning.

Speaking of BBQ....
One of my favorite blogs, Lord of the Wings, mentioned the Travel Channel's new series Food Wars. The episode he blogged about was Buffalo wing battle between Duff's and the original, Anchor Bar. It's a neat concept because they pick to juggernaut restaurants of a particular dish and place them head to head. The judging panel includes 3 neutral judges and 1 fan of each of the two establishments. So far they've done Italian beef sandwiches, buffalo wings, and fried chicken.

Well this week, Food Wars treads into the BBQ world. It puts the Texas BBQ institutions of Kreuz Market against Smitty's Market in a BBQ Thunderdome. One brisket enters, one brisket leaves. Here's a preview of the show that airs THIS Tuesday at 10 PM.

Check it out if you get a chance. The first three episodes were entertaining. Speaking of which...

Idea for the Food Network:
The Travel Channel (No Reservations, Man vs. Food, Bizarre Foods, the food Paradise series and now Food Wars), Bravo (Top Chef) and TLC (BBQ Pitmasters) are kicking your ever loving ass at "food-entertainment". Maybe you could actually get back to producing instructional shows?


  1. Chris - That meat looks killer and we'll have to give the bean recipe a try. Thanks for the heads up on the show - I like that format. I ate at Kreuz's a few years back and if I knew then what I know now, I'd have hung around and eaten at all of Lockhart's joints.

  2. Chris... you are a master at grilling! Your country pork ribs look so succulent and that "rub" is outstanding. Love the way you do the fresh green beans, too.

    When are you opening up a "Rib Shop"?

  3. Chris, haven't you figured out the food network is more interested in selling books from their "made" celebrities. If they produce entertaining shows, how can they instant market a 3 or 4 different cookbooks a month???

    I so love the look of the "mini pork butts" ... And had to laugh about the disappointing choice of plates for the shoot. Here in paradise, I moved into a furnished condo. Complete with plates... My choice is white or a Marcia Brady glow in the dark green and blue plate. When my wife and i are out and about on the island, i am always looking for a presentation plate for my food.

    I do have to question your cooking time on the beans... 20 minutes seems overcooked to me. i would do 5 minutes and keep them snappy... but just me.

  4. Damn, another great pork rib recipe. You have me hooked on chicken wings and now I am moving onto bbq country style pork ribs....

    I really do enjoy your style.


  5. First, the so called "ribs" look delicious. Second I could not agree more with your Ideas for the Food Network. Time to get back to their original idea of teaching people to cook.

  6. I love your idea for the Food Network. Guys Big Bite is one of my fav shows there that still focuses on cooking but I have to admit I watch it more for Guy Fieri than anything else :)

    1. Guy Fieri is a crap chef & makes crap food that people who are uniformed of cooking gobble up like it's gourmet. Anne Burrell is an actual chef from whom you could learn much more than that gross 70's wanna-be that needs to button his shirt. Just trying to help you cook better by giving you a better mentor.

  7. Can I request Kung Fu subtitles on every post? (or maybe just little references like Seinfeld and Superman)

    I loved the BBQ instructional. When you get ribs in Texas, the great joints have squirt bottles of thin signature sauces that range from mild to very spicy . . . the latter sporting names like "rocket fuel" and "whoopass." Guess which direction I always gravitate?

    While I see what you mean about the bean picture, there is nothing wrong with the top photo of beautifully drizzled ribs!

  8. Oh my goodness these look divine!!! I'm not much of a griller. That's my husbands department and he does it well (I'm not allowed near the grill since I started it on fire last summer). I'm going to be preparing these for HIM to grill! One question. What is turninado sugar?? I've never heard of it. The beans look wonderful too!

  9. Isn't funny how even the 'country style ribs' I made not that long ago are not really ribs either, as they come from the pork loin roast, which is basically the same area of yours...I tell my son when he gets his own 'Ye ole butcher shoppe' (my name in there somewhere, lol) to let me come in and make up some darn names and really blow you know who's mind, lol!

    That plate is calling my name!

  10. I love your country style ribs and can't wait until the weather calms down and I can get my grill ready. It's snowing like crazy in Missouri today, and yeasterday it was 65 degrees! I want spring.

  11. Of course you have chili pepper plates. Of course. I guess they were all out of pork butt plates! But seriously I admire your knowledge of pork and am resolved to cook pork more often. And grill more often, and invent my own dry rub, and get a big green egg, and move to TN and... oh wait. Then there'd be two of you. GREG

  12. Greg - Two of Chris? Sold, I'll take one! :-)

    Love the thinned sauce idea Chris. I do the same with salad dressings as too. The ribs look delicious! I agree that the plate stole the color from your beans but those plates are so hot, spicy and colorful that it's worth it, love them! Have to totally agree with you on the shows too.

    Have a great weekend!

  13. PS - Mitch Hedberg is one of my favorite comedians :-)

  14. I love how your ribs turned out, such wonderful grill marks! I loved your tip about thinning out some storebought BBQ sauce and making it your own. For me that means one thing - more mustard! Sounds like you are really getting into your food styling. It's so hard for me to focus on pictures sometimes.
    I agree with you on the food network. They are all about promoting their stars and need to get some more programs to keep up with the other networks.

  15. How many things in life are better than bbq-ed pork? Not many. Actually. Maybe none. This looks amazing!

    And seriously. What is UP with the food network. I'll take top chef over any FN show. Anyday.

    And in response to your comment - the sausages didn't taste gamey at all! A lot of them were infused with other flavors so I think the gamey-ness got slightly masked.

  16. Looks great. This is another cut of meat that I have not tried to cook at home. I think we would really like these. I love BBQ pork! I am trying your pesto/boursin pork first though.

  17. Well you know I love those plates, I comment on them every time they're in your photos, but I agree, that delicious meat didn't pop. Thank you for the country rib clarification. I always wondered why they didn't seem very rib-esk.

  18. What is it with the food network and their afternoons of nothingness? Oh..and the ribs....thanks for that clarification. I wondered what was up with bones? And if that were the case and they were really come the rest of the ribs (with bones) have only a little meat? Now it aaaaaaall makes sense.

  19. Great advice for the Food Network. I have almost stopped watching their shows altogether. Still love Good Eats though. We have a cool channel in DC called Recipe TV, not sure if it is national or not. It is like the old Food Network, but they use real chefs and prepare dishes off their menus. Usually in 10-15 minute segments.

  20. 1) Thanks for the shout out!
    2) Great use of Canadian comedy television
    3) What is with the changing of names?
    4) I too want kung fu subtitles on everything. EVERYTHING.
    5) Food, as always, looks amazing.
    6) Spot on the Food Network comments. Lets you and I start a show: Kung Fu BBQ and Wings

  21. I loved Mitch. I saw him right before he died.

  22. Looks great! About how long did it take to cook these bad boys on the BGE?

  23. wow....way to NOT reply to your (apparently) faithful NOT to blog.

    But your ribs do look divine.

  24. Always use a white plate when taking photos, any color or design on the plate, will ALWAYS detract from the food (which is what you're trying to showcase). Also, I'm not sure that a rib & a pile of green beans is a dinner...not only do I never think of green beans as a bbq side dish, you're missing a starch of some kind to be a complete plate. I would have went with roasted corn on the cob & potato salad or a baked potato. Just some thoughts from a professional chef!!!


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