These ribs are full-flavored, tender, meaty, and moist – a tasty lick-your-lips bite of heaven to add to your weekend menu.
Addicted to BBQ, Grilling, and Smoking? We are too! At Lac du Nibiinaabe getting creative with recipes to make weekend smoked, grilled or barbequed meals it is not only a summertime pastime but a year-round obsession.
Our grill-master is my dear hubby Mark who’s designed his dream of a grill kingdom into our backyard patio area. An ever-growing and I must add always getting better work-in-progress; the whole idea started with a grill roof so that we could grill and stay dry when it was raining, stay cooler during the heat of the day, and have a place for the grills (yes, that’s plural), his electric smoker, and us to hang out under. It is a destination all on its own, and we love it!
It’s a hobby and a destination that provides us with a pastime where we can enjoy the process of continually working to develop our outdoor cooking skills. And, who seriously does not love the smells that come from low and slow barbecue and the intoxicating flavors of wood smoke?
A few years ago, I discovered three secrets for making country-style pork ribs cooked in the smoker. These additions in prepping and smoking country-style ribs keep them moist and add an extra delicious flavor.
Country-style pork ribs made their way to the meat case in the 1970s. According to Merle Ellis, author of “The Great American Meat Book” (Knopf, 1996), legend has it that Scott Detrie, president of a chain of markets in Kentucky, came up with the idea as a way of marketing the shoulder-blade section of the pork loin, where the chops aren’t as neat and as lean as pricier rib chops. The idea was that the narrow ribs would be perfect for grilling or prepared under the broiler.
Country-style ribs usually are tougher, and have a fattier quality like pork shoulder, making them less than desirable as a pork roast. Never-the-less they make a thick meatier rib, but to purists, they’ll always be a pork chop.
The confusion for shoppers looking for country-style ribs is that their shape can vary. They can be cut from the meaty top end of the loin, or the bottom end of the shoulder. Also, because of the way country-style ribs are cut, sometimes they will have a long rib bone, they may have a portion of the blade bone, or others may include a piece of the backbone. And, boneless country-style pork ribs could conceivably be made from any piece of pork, my butcher tells me. When I asked if the label would specify the cut, I was told, “probably not.” If you’re curious, you’ll want to ask.
I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to find proportioned cuts of country-style ribs, so you’ll want to look for an even assortment if buying prepackaged. But, if you’re looking to try country-style pork ribs, whatever the cut, they’re best when cooked low and slow, being braised, or prepared by barbequing them.
In this recipe, I’ve used a combination of all three cooking methods to prepare Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Country-Style Ribs with Apple and Onion. These cooking methods combined with my three secrets make country-style ribs that are to die for good and has become one of our favorite ways to prepare them.
My first secret is to marinate the ribs overnight.
Secret number two is to up the flavor and fat by wrapping them in bacon.
Finally, my third secret is to semi-braise the ribs while they’re smoking by loading them up with apples and onions on top, and adding water below in the pan to add moisture.
These ribs are full-flavored, tender, meaty, and moist – a tasty lick-your-lips bite of heaven to add to your weekend menu!
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A TIDBIT OR TWO ABOUT KYMBERLEY:
HEY! I’M SO HAPPY TO MEET YOU!
I’m Kymberley: former nonprofit director, now full-time blogger. My husband Mark, and I share our rural home in the heart of Central Wisconsin in an area known as “The Holyland.” We love visiting cool places across America, learning about the food, the people, culture, and the local history. Our favorite things are eating great food, dark chocolate, weekend coffee, lazy summer days, all sorts of music, and time with our grandchildren.
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