Okay… a “Country-Style Rib” is really a misnomer – they really aren’t ribs … at all. While ribs come from ..well, the rib-ish back and belly areas – Country Style ribs are actually from the shoulder roast (also known as a Boston Butt) area of the pig. And the little bits of bone? Shoulder blade. So, with that in mind – the “rib” is meatier and more tender since it’s coming from the shoulder end of the loin – with none of the fibrous, overly fatty and tough belly meat.
Which – as it so happens – makes them a perfect candidate for marinating.
Warning – a little local business plugging ahead….
Our local independent grocer here has recently undergone a renovation, name change and concept re-tooling. And while their original name (J&J) wasn’t exactly what you’d call a business driver… The new and improved store (Fresh & Frugal) peaked my interest… because I do love me some bargains when it comes to food. It’s delightfully clean and sparkly (as most new-ish places are), the staff are friendly and helpful if not a tad Home Depotesque overly so. But the coolest thing?
Everything in the store is priced at cost…. everything. And once you’ve filled your cart, 10% is added to your total at the register.
Now, cost + 10 stores are really nothing new, the concept has been around since I was a little guy. But…. but… Fresh and Frugal (J&J) always had a great reputation for really good meats and poultry; and being able to get my hands on super fresh pork at +10? I’m a fan!
Okay, about the marinade…
I’ve gotten on a fish sauce kick lately. I know.. I tend to cycle around in my spice cabinet. and lately – it’s the sauce.
If you’re not in the know, fish sauce is made from fish fermented in sea water. Depending on where it is made, the type of fish can vary. It is very salty, and depending on how cheap the sauce is (cheaper sauces are fermented for a much shorter period), can be very fishy. If you are out to buy some – look for the clearer, darker sauces and stay away from any that appear cloudy.
Think of fish sauce the equivalent of putting anchovies in a sauce… It’s got a certain richness and depth… but you really can’t put your hands on an actual FISH flavor.
And it makes a terrific base for a soak.
Country Style Pork Ribs
w/ Fish Sauce Marinade
Makes enough marinade for 6 ribs
6 Country Style Pork Ribs
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
Juice from 1 Lime (or 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice from the plastic squeezy lime)
1 Clove Garlic – Crushed
Small Non-Reactive Bowl
Large Zipper Bag
Smallish Baking Pan
Place everything except the pork into the bowl and whisk together until the sugar dissolves
Place the ribs in the zipper bag , pour the marinade over, and squitch everything around to coat
Let marinate out of refrigeration for 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 375
Remove the ribs from the bag and discard the marinade
Turn the ribs fat cap UP and score the fat
Cover the pan with tin foil and place the ribs (Fat Up)
Bake on the center rack at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes