Country style ribs. What are they and what makes them so tasty? Country style ribs taste like rib meat, but they have hardly any bones in them and the meat doesn’t really come from the rib area either. So why are they called ribs? They are pieces of meat that come from two main areas of the pig; blade-end loin chops, from the blade near the shoulder or from the shoulder itself. The blade-ends often have a bone or two in them, but more so than not, the bones are removed and they are sold as boneless. This cut of pork loin is specifically called country style ribs. Meat cut from the shoulder can also be cut into thick, boneless strips, and these are often called pork shoulder country-style ribs. Both cuts are full of flavor and marbling. They are also very versatile and lend themselves to many different ways of cooking, whether the cooking process is a slow method, like braising, or a fast method, as in cooking on a high heat grill. I like short ribs much more than I do actual ribs, so we eat them fairly often. Maybe the reason why I prefer these “kinds of ribs” is because they are so much meatier than regular ribs. I grilled them the other day, and created a new marinade for them too. It was one of those scorcher days, and being inside near the hot stove for a long period of time was just not going to happen. I made a citrus- lemon, onion marinade for the “ribs” and let them marinate for about 4 hours before grilling them up.
Grilled Citrus-Lemon Country Style Ribs
3-3 1/2 lbs country style ribs
salt and pepper to taste
1 sweet, Vidalia onion, sliced very thin
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped parsley and/or lemon verbena – I used lemon verbena fresh from my garden
1 tsp lemon zest
Season the ribs with salt and pepper, then place in a baking dish with some of the onions and parsley under the ribs and more covering the ribs. Make the marinade with the juices and lemon zest and pour over the ribs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before grilling.
Once the pork has been marinating, it is time to put it on a hot grill and let the grill take over from there. Since this is pork, you want the internal temperature to be at least 165*F and the juices to come out clear, so grill it for at least 30 minutes, turning it over at least once. We also grilled up some corn on the cob to go along with the country style ribs and served them both along side some of my leftover grilled potato salad Grilled Potato Salad and warmed ciabbiatta bread. Of course there was wine as well. I served a smooth red blend with the pork that just made everything melt in my mouth.
When the ribs were done, I sliced the meat at a diagonal and topped it with the remaining sauce that I heated up and cooked down. I added more lemon zest and more lemon verbena right before serving.
This recipe is also perfect for a new lemony-twist to beef short ribs too. I’ll take it either way, with beef or pork. YUMMY!