Want to know a secret? Country-style ribs aren’t actually ribs at all. They’re boneless pieces of pork shoulder, which means they’re a delicious, meatier choice that cooks low and slow to fall-apart perfection.
Dry-Rubbed Country-Style Ribs
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground chipotle pepper
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder country-style ribs
- 2 large red onions, divided
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Barbecue sauce, to serve
- In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, dry mustard, salt, chipotle pepper, onion powder, cumin, garlic powder, and black pepper. Rub spice mixture all over all ribs, coating well. Tightly wrap ribs in plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.
- Unwrap ribs, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Slice 1 onion ½ inch thick; place in bottom of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Place ribs on top of onion. Cover skillet with foil.
- Bake until ribs are tender, about 3 hours.
- Gently remove ribs and onion from skillet. Wipe skillet clean. Cut remaining onion into ¼-inch-thick wedges.
- In same skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Working in batches, gently add ribs and onion wedges to skillet; cook until just browned on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Brush a thin coat of barbecue sauce onto ribs; carefully turn ribs and onion; cook 1 more minute. Serve ribs with barbecue sauce and onion wedges.
Searing the ribs in the final step is optional, but we like the crust that develops on the outside of the tender pieces of meat. Be gentle when handling the ribs so they don’t fall apart.