Smoked Country-Style Ribs

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Country-Style Pork Ribs, (Photo by Dcn. Bill)
Country-Style Ribs are not ribs at all, but rather are cut from the pork shoulder. They may or may not be boneless. The best thing about them is that they are meaty and almost always affordable. On the down side, because they are essentially shoulder, they are going to take a long time to cook. Once finished they can be served as ribs or pull the meat like you would from a shoulder.

A word about the rub. I use the freshest and best spices and herbs available to me. I get an awful lot of my spices from Penzey's, and those obtained from there are specified as such. I get no considerations from Penzey's but am happy to recommend there products as they are amazing for rubs.

Whenever possible, I grind pepper fresh. Most rubs do better if they remain simple. This is not a simple rub, but the ingredients are also not simple. It is blended to bring out the best qualities of each spice. not allowing any one to dominate, but each to contribute. This rub is great for any pork or chicken recipe.

Rub Ingredients:

3 whole allspice
1 Tablespoon of Penzey's India Extra Bold Peppercorns
2 Tablespoon of Penzey's Minced Garlic
1  Penzey's Tsin Tsin Pepper
Course grind the above in a coffee or spice grinder.

Add to the following:
1 Tablespoon and 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Turbinado Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Penzey's Arizona Dreaming
2 Teaspoons of Penzey's Aleppo Peppers
2 Tablespoons of Penzey's Hungarian Style Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon of Penzey's Hot Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon of Penzey's Red Chipolte Pepper
2 Teaspoons of Penzey's California Orange Peel
1 Teaspoon of Penzey's California Lemon Peel

Mix all together by hand, breaking up any clumps. Store in a glass jar with tight fitting lid. Fresh (enough) for about a month, though I make it fresh every time.

Coat your ribs well in cheap yellow mustard. Cover the coated meat with a generous amount of rub, pressing it (Use a back of a large spoon) into all surfaces. Place meat in a leak proof container, cover and refrigerate overnight.

I used a Treager pellet smoker to do these, but any smoker will work. I also use a 50/50 mix of hickory and apple wood for the smoke. Hickory provides that familiar flavor that is loved in the Midwest. Apple adds very little, but stops the hickory from over-smoking the meat as it is on the meat for 3 hours.

Smoke for 3 hours at 190F.

Remove from smoker and wrap 1 or 2 ribs together in a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Before folding the foil shut, pour 1 or 2 shots of your favorite bourbon or whiskey on the ribs. Sprinkle one side with more of the rub. Wrap tightly and return to smoker for one more hour at 190F.

After one hour, raise the temp to 250F for two hours.

Remove from smoker and let rest in the foil for 15-20 minutes. Heat drives moisture into the middle of the meat. Resting allows it to seep back into the entire piece of meat.

I finish these off with a whiskey glaze over a hot propane flame, but you don't need to finish them off at all.

1/4 cup favorite whiskey or bourbon in a sauce pan. Add three pinches of rub mix. Place over high heat OUTDOORS and burn off the alcohol. This will very likely flame in the pan. (this heating has a two-fold purpose, to burn off alcohol and open up the more aromatic aspects of the rub.

Remove pan from heat and stir in 1/4 cup turbinado sugar mixing as well as you can.

Finishing them off, picture before the glaze

Picture with the glaze
Cook rested ribs on one side until one direction of desired grill marks appear, turn over and repeat on the other side. Coat the "up" side with the whiskey, sugar glaze. Flip over, to form a criss-cross pattern with the already formed marks. on the grill to caramelize the sugar, being careful not to burn the sugar. Repeat with other side.

Let the meat rest once again, then Serve-em up.


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