Oven-baked Country-Style Pork Ribs are a delicious, budget-friendly dinnertime option. Braised in a quick, savory, homemade barbecue sauce, this recipe offers everything you could want in a rib and more! They're sticky, sweet, and 100% fall-off-the-bone tender. It’s going to be “barbecue” in the great indoors, and it's going to be absolutely glorious.
In addition to an easy Country-Style Rib Recipe the entire family will swoon for, we'll also be covering the best method for cooking Country-Style Pork Ribs in the oven, two ways to get more flavor out of your ribs, and last but not least, classic, homestyle side dishes to serve with alongside them!
WHAT ARE COUNTRY-STYLE PORK RIBS?
Country-style Pork Ribs come from the front of the pig -- the shoulder area to be more precise. This is where the pork butt is located. Pork butt is commonly used for pulled pork. When cooked to perfection the texture of Country Style Pork Ribs lies somewhere between pulled pork and a baby back rib. This makes perfect sense as the pork shoulder and the baby backs are very close in vicinity.
SHOULD YOU GO BONE-IN OR BONELESS?
Truth be told, you could use bone-in or boneless ribs for this recipe. However, when bone-in meats braised (meaning they are cooked in a liquid, low-and-slow for hours), it allows for the flavourful bone marrow to escape from the center of the bone into the cooking liquid. And in turn, the cooking liquid flavors the meat. Yes, please.
SLOW COOKING COUNTRY RIBS IN THE OVEN
Because Country-Style Pork Ribs are known to be a tough cut of meat, they are extremely economical. A true bonus for us because when you slow-cook them, they become a whole new animal. Well, same animal...totally different texture. Braising the ribs at 325° in a quick and easy, homemade barbecue sauce results in sticky-sweet, fall-off-the-bone pork heaven.
Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are by far the best product out there for braising meats in the oven. Good recipes are all about building flavor, and the Dutch oven allows you to build flavor and cook all in one vessel.
Dutch ovens are also very conducive to even cooking because of their thick, cast iron interior. However, if you don't have one, you can still make a stellar batch of slow-cooked Country Style Ribs.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE A DUTCH OVEN...
If you don't have a Dutch oven, begin this recipe on the stovetop in a large pan, and then transfer the contents of the pan to a casserole dish and cover it tightly with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil before going into the oven. Most importantly, reduce the heat to 300° for baking.
HOW TO COOK COUNTRY-STYLE PORK RIBS IN THE OVEN
- Pat the ribs dry, rub with oil and sprinkle with seasoning.
- Sear ribs in Dutch oven (or pan) on the stovetop.
- Set ribs aside and add vegetables to sauté, then add the sauce ingredients and stir to combine.
- Add ribs, cover, and transfer to the oven. Turn the ribs halfway through baking.
1. PAT THE RIBS DRY AND SEASON
Patting the ribs dry with a paper towel ensures you will get a good sear on them in the Dutch oven (or pan).
2. SEAR THE MEAT
Even though our ribs aren't going to keep that crusty exterior due to the braise that will follow, it's still important they develop a nice crust in the pan. Searing the Country-Style Pork Ribs over a higher heat setting enables browning. Brown meat means more flavor, and this step is very important when it comes to building flavor.
TIPS FOR BROWNING MEAT
- Allow the meat to set out at room temperature for about 20 minutes before searing.
- Remove excess moisture by patting dry with a paper towel.
- Use oil with a high smoke point to prevent burning (i.e. Canola oil).
- Don't overcrowd the pan.
- Don't move or jostle the ribs around, and allow them to set for the indicated amount before flipping.
3. SOFTEN THE VEGETABLES AND MAKE THE SAUCE
Once your ribs have taken a turn in the pan, you'll set them aside and start sauteeing the onion and bell pepper. After the vegetables have softened, it's time to make the sauce. This sauce is sweet, sticky and everything you could possibly want in a BBQ sauce for Country Style Pork Ribs. To make the sauce, simply add the apple (or pineapple) juice, ketchup, molasses, yellow mustard, spices, and stir.
4. ADD RIBS BACK TO THE SAUCE AND BAKE
The ribs go back into the sauce and then into the oven for some low and slow cooking. The ribs will cook in the oven, covered, for about 2 hours.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH RIBS
- Old-Fashioned Potato Salad is a simple, make-ahead side dish featuring Russet potatoes, chopped celery, dill pickles, and red peppers. All topped off with a perfectly tangy potato salad dressing!
- Beans are a classic pairing for ribs and these Homemade Charro Beans are no exception. They're quick to prep and easy to make!
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole is a make-ahead potato dish featuring cream cheese, crispy thick-cut, bacon, freshly grated Cheddar, and chopped green onions. The perfect make-ahead side dish casserole!
- Easy Homemade Cornbread bakes up perfectly with a moist, tender, and buttery crumb!
- Southern Creamed Corn is an easy, quick fix side dish made on the stovetop with cream cheese, milk, and fresh or frozen corn.
5 MORE PORK DINNER IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE
- Slow Cooker Spare Ribs yield the perfect bite with a burst of big BBQ flavor, but best of all — they’re easy to make!
- BBQ Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker is a budget-friendly easy dinner idea and a total life-saver for busy weeknights!
- Pulled Pork Sliders were made for feeding a crowd, but also make for a great kid-friendly dinner option!
- Crispy Baked Pork Chops with Panko Breading always bake up tender and never dry. They’re a classic dinnertime option the entire the whole family will love!
- Pulled Pork Quesadillas puts Slow Cooker Pulled Pork leftovers to work on the stovetop. They’re loaded with flavor and are over-the-top easy to make!
An easy recipe for oven-baked Country-style pork ribs, braised in a quick, homemade barbecue sauce.
- 2 ½ - 3 pounds bone-in Country-Style pork ribs
- 1 ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt, separated
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper, separated
- 3 tablespoons Canola oil separated
- 1 yellow onion halved and cut into ¼" slices
- 1 green bell pepper stem removed, seeded, quartered and cut into ¼" strips
- ¼ cup apple or pineapple juice
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ⅓ cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 325°. On a large work surface, pat the pork ribs dry and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of Canola oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, and rub to coat evenly on all sides.
Add remaining Canola oil to an enameled cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat. If you do not have a Dutch oven, see notes below.
Brown the pork ribs by adding 2-3 ribs to the oil at a time, taking care not to overcrowd the pan, and allow to sear on the first side for 4-5 minutes without moving or jostling. Turn the ribs over, and sear 3-4 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining ribs. Remove from the pan and set aside on a large plate to rest.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the peppers and the onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, or just until softened.
Add the pineapple juice and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Stir in the ketchup, molasses, yellow mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire, smoked paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Add the ribs, along with any juices, back to the Dutch oven, and turn to coat in the sauce. Cover, and transfer to the oven to bake for 1 hour. After an hour of baking, remove from the oven, turn the ribs and continue to bake, covered, for 1 hour more. Serve and enjoy.
If you don't have a Dutch oven, preheat the oven to 300° rather than 325°.
Then, begin this recipe on the stovetop in a large pan, and then transfer the contents of the Dutch oven to a casserole dish and cover it tightly with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil before going into the oven.