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JeanMarie Brownson: Country-style pork ribs just may be the tastiest pork available

JeanMarie Brownson, Tribune Content Agency on

Make no mistake, country-style ribs are not really ribs. Instead, they are rib-size cuts from the shoulder end of the pork loin. The meaty pieces need less cooking time than ribs. Choose bone-in or boneless country ribs per your audience or availability. The bone-in ribs, unlike back ribs or spareribs, require a bit of eating dexterity to get all the juicy meat around the irregular shaped bones.

To season the ribs, use a generous amount of your favorite rub, preferably one with just a hint of sweetness. Or, make your own Mediterranean seasoning blend by mixing oregano and rosemary with spices and a touch of cinnamon. Alternatively, purchase a similar seasoning such as the Greektown Mediterranean Seasoning from The Spice House or Tammy’s Herbal Rub from John Henry’s.

Serve the herby pork ribs with a bright, creamy cucumber sauce reminiscent of tzatziki. Dunk pieces of the roast pork in the spicy cucumber sauce or spread the sauce over a warmed flatbread, top with diced pork and chopped tomatoes and onions for a wrap.

A winter-friendly salad such as halved tomatoes, chopped red onion, cucumber and feta cheese chunks drizzled with fruity olive oil makes a beautiful accompaniment.

If desired, split the ribs between two baking sheets and add halved small red potatoes, tossed with a little olive oil to the pans. The potatoes will roast nicely alongside the pork and absorb some of the delicious pan juice flavors.

Roasted Pork Country Ribs with Spicy Cucumber Sauce


Makes 4 to 6 servings

Note: If desired, swap in six large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for the pork. The cooking time is about the same.

2 tablespoons dried leaf oregano

2 teaspoons dried rosemary


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