Makes:4 to 6 servings
The cut of meat known as country-style pork ribs is, confusingly, not from the ribs at all. These meaty, boneless strips of meat are really cut from the blade end of the loin, close to the shoulder. They can be slow-roasted until fork-tender or quickly grilled, like we do here. Just mix together a simple dry rub and coat the ribs with it. Let them sit overnight, then grill them until they’re crusty on the outside and juicy on the inside. Serve them with some mac salad and grilled corn.
What to buy: Country-style ribs are cut from the blade roast located on the upper side of the rib cage (the fatty blade end of the loin). They are usually boneless, but depending on how the butcher cuts them, they may have smaller pieces of bone here and there. You can also purchase a pork shoulder or butt roast and cut it into “ribs” yourself.
Game plan: To get the best results, let the ribs sit at least 8 hours with the rub on them; the dry spices will rehydrate and lend better flavor. You can go as short as 4 hours, but the flavor will be less developed.
Watch the CHOW Test Kitchen’s Amy Wisniewski make these simple grilled country-style pork ribs in an episode of our Easiest Way video series.
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoonskosher salt
2 teaspoonsground ancho chile
2 teaspoonsground chipotle chile
1/2 teaspoonground cumin
1/2 teaspoongarlic powder
1/2 teaspoononion powder
3 1/2 poundscountry-style pork ribs
Place all of the ingredients except the pork in a small bowl and stir to combine. Rub the spice mixture evenly on all sides of the ribs. Place the meat in a resealable plastic bag or a baking dish covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Let the ribs sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium (about 350°F to 450°F).
Place the ribs on the grill with the larger, flatter side down, cover the grill, and cook until the pork is browned and crusty on the bottom, about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip, cover, and cook until it’s browned and crusty on the other side, about 5 to 7 minutes more. Rotate the ribs so that they are resting on a thinner side (you may need to prop them up against one another), cover, and cook until browned and crusty, about 4 to 6 minutes. Flip to the other thinner side, cover, and cook until browned and crusty or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thickest rib registers 145°F, about 4 to 6 minutes more. Transfer to a clean serving platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest about 5 minutes before serving.