Country-style pork ribs are not technically cut from rib—they actually come from the shoulder area of the pig. They generally are boneless, but you may find some that contain a bit of bone from the shoulder blade instead of a rib bone, as is found in a true rib cut like baby back. Still, they are called “ribs” because the texture and consistency of the meat is similar to that of a true rib. We love working with country-style ribs because they have a lot more meat than regular ribs, and are therefore much more versatile. Many rib recipes call for smoking and barbecue sauce, but we prefer to braise them in a rich brown gravy. Braising is a delicious way to prepare rich meats. The slow, moist cooking method helps to break down the meat, making it tender and full of flavor. The gravy adds that comfort food touch, guaranteeing your family will love them.
2 pounds country-style pork ribs
1½ teaspoons Morton’s Nature’s Seasons
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup dry roux powder
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Season the ribs with the Morton’s seasoning. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven. Brown the seasoned ribs 3-4 minutes per side.
Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.
Add the minced garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
Turn off the heat and add the white wine. Use a spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom. Turn the heat back on to medium and bring the mixture up to a simmer.
In a bowl, whisk the roux powder with the chicken broth and slowly pour it into the skillet. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and has thickened a bit.
Place the ribs back in the skillet and cover. Bake in the heated oven for 1½-2 hours, checking every couple of minutes to make sure there is enough liquid covering the ribs as they braise. Add some extra broth if the liquid reduces too quickly.
Remove the ribs once they are completely fork tender but still hold their shape. Serve with your favorite side or Spoon Bread and Smothered Collard Greens (recipes follow).
Editor’s note: If using a slow cooker, follow the directions through step 6. After that, place everything into your slow cooker and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the ribs are fork tender.
This article was originally published in the September 2021 issue of 225 magazine.