A simple recipe for oven-baked country-style ribs. They are so meaty and tender! The fat melts into them as they cook, then beautifully browns and crisps up under the broiler.
I'm a big fan of simply cooked fatty meats and I'm also a fan of oven-baking, the ultimate hands-off approach to cooking. Take a fatty cut of meat, season it, then bake until tender. You may then broil it briefly to crisp up that fat. Easy and tasty!
This is the technique I use when I make oven brisket, and I use the same one when making these ribs. It's one of my favorite cuts to get at Costco, second only to their amazing pork belly. The store labels this cut as “boneless pork shoulder country-style ribs.”
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Boneless pork shoulder ribs: As I said, I usually get them at Costco.
Smoked salt: Available on Amazon - see link below in the recipe card. I think it's important to use smoked salt in this recipe and not regular salt. It really enhances the flavor of the ribs.
Spices: Black pepper, smoked paprika (much better than regular paprika in this recipe), dried thyme, and cayenne pepper. Make sure the spices you use are fresh. A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
How to cook country-style ribs
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Prepare the ribs. Cut them in half and arrange them in a rimmed baking dish.
Season the ribs. Mix the remaining ingredients and sprinkle them on top of the ribs.
Bake. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake the ribs for 2 hours at 325°F.
Broil. Transfer the ribs to a broiler-safe pan and broil them briefly to crisp up the fat, keeping a close eye on them while they're under the heating element.
How to serve them?
Since this is such a fatty cut of meat, a little goes a long way. Six ounces of cooked ribs per person is plenty.
As for sides, I simply serve them with a tossed salad (this arugula salad is very good) or some plain steamed veggies (steamed cabbage is excellent and goes well with pork). They are so rich and fatty and satisfying, there’s really no need for anything else.
Storing the leftovers
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
Frequently asked questions
These gorgeous slabs of meat, with beautiful fat marbling throughout, are cut from the blade end of the pork loin, close to the pork shoulder. They are meatier than other rib cuts, and they contain no rib bones. I see that as a plus. Because while bones add flavor and juiciness to meat, they also make it more difficult to eat.
Some recipes instruct you to boil or steam ribs to tenderize them, and this might be a good idea if you plan on grilling them. But I cook them in the oven, and I find that slow cooking them in a low oven achieves great results with much less effort. So I don't bother with boiling or steaming.
If you try to simply grill them, they will come out tough. They come from a part of the animal that needs to be cooked low and slow. That's why I like slow-cooking them in a low oven. They come out wonderfully tender when cooked this way!
I cook them for 2 hours, covered, in a 325F oven. I then finish them under the broiler to crisp up and brown the fat.
Other pork recipes that you might enjoy
As mentioned above, pork belly slices from Costco are amazing. They are even better than bacon, in my opinion. And I think you will also like these oven baked spare ribs. They are fall-off-the-bone tender and just wonderful!
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Oven-Baked Country Style Ribs
- 3 lb. boneless pork shoulder ribs
- 2 teaspoons smoked salt (available on Amazon)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Cut the ribs in half crosswise, and arrange them in a single layer in an ungreased 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
- Mix together the dry rub ingredients, and sprinkle the rub on top of the ribs.
- Cover tightly with heavy duty foil (or a double layer of regular foil), and bake until very tender, about 2 hours.
- With a slotted spatula, remove the cooked ribs to a broiler-safe pan. Switch the oven to broil.
- You can throw out the cooking liquids, but I like to strain them into a glass jar and refrigerate until the fat separates. I then remove the layer of fat, and I have a rich, tasty, mineral-rich broth that I can either warm up and drink, or use as a basis for sauces and gravies.
- Broil the ribs in the middle of the oven until the fat is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.