Wow! It still feels like summer here in the Northeast. Thinking of all you who might still be craving some barbecue while dealing with fall school schedules, I decided to re-post this much-loved favorite from a few years back. Enjoy!
I have desires. I have opinions. I have needs. And when it comes to summer, I desire a nice plate of fall-apart-tender, juicy barbecue-style pork. But in my opinion, adulterating grassfed and pastured meat with sugary (or corn syrupy) sweet barbecue sauce is a criminal act. And as much as I love the smokey flavor that a few hours on the barbecue imparts on my meat, I don’t have the luxury of sitting still all day to tend the coals. I need to get my barbecue pork fix without the BBQ. And without the barbecue sauce. The key lies in a good spice rub, a few packs of country-style ribs, and a slow cooker.
Country-style ribs are not actually ribs at all. They are pork chops cut from the shoulder, rich with interior and exterior fat. When added to a slow cooker with no liquid to dry the meat, that fat melts and breaks down the connective tissue in the proteins, making for a buttery-rich pork feast. The cook’s job is pretty easy: Coat the country ribs with a spice rub the night before, then leave them covered in the slow cooker over night. In the morning, turn the cooker on to the low setting. Come home 8 hours later and feast. No searing, no sauces, no smoking, no troubles. And seriously tasty.
BBQ-Style Country Ribs
6 country ribs
For the rub:
½ cup granulated maple sugar (if this is not available near you, use Sucanat or another unrefined sugar from a local health food store)
¼ cup dry mustard
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
½ cup coarse sea salt
¼ cup ground black pepper
Combine the ingredients for the spice rub in a bowl. Rub the mixture all over the meat, reserving any leftover spices in an airtight container for another use. Set the country ribs in a slow cooker and cover. Let them marinate in the spices for 8-12 hours before turning the cooker on. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until tender.