Barbecue Country-Style Pork Ribs
This basic barbecue has big flavor and no ketchup or Coca-Cola (no disrespect meant to those who favor that type of seasoning). There’s no fire involved; you use a standard oven. The spicing trends toward Caribbean, with plenty of sweet spice and as much Scotch bonnet or habanero chile heat as you wish. County-style ribs are meaty bone-in pork chops cut from the shoulder end of the loin, so use those or a whole bone-in pork shoulder roast. Cooked until it’s ultratender, it can be cut in chunky pieces and served in its juices with beans, rice and cornbread. Or shred the cooked meat to make pulled pork sandwiches or tacos. It’s quite good accompanied with a crisp slawlike cabbage salad or your favorite version of coleslaw.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 5pounds thick country-style pork ribs or whole bone-in pork shoulder roast
- 1 ½tablespoons kosher salt
- 2teaspoons allspice berries
- 1teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1teaspoon whole cloves
- 2tablespoons smoked paprika, such as pimentón de la Vera
- ½teaspoon cayenne powder
- ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½teaspoon annatto powder (optional)
- 6garlic cloves, minced
- ½cup molasses
- ¼cup apple-cider vinegar
- 1tablespoon tomato paste
- 2or 3 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, left whole but split to the stem (optional)
- 4bay leaves
- Soft buns or crusty rolls (optional)
- 1medium Savoy cabbage, cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons
- 1teaspoon kosher salt
- ½cup orange juice (from 1 medium orange)
- 3tablespoons lime juice (from 1 large lime)
- 1tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
- 1small jalapeño chile, finely chopped
- 1teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- ¼cup thinly sliced scallions
- Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Step 1Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place pork in a Dutch oven or a roasting pan with a lid. Sprinkle with salt. In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast allspice, peppercorns, coriander and cloves until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Using an electric spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind spices and transfer to a small bowl.
Step 2To the ground, toasted spices, add smoked paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, annatto (if using), garlic, molasses, vinegar and tomato paste. Stir well, then rub mixture all over pork.
Step 3Add 4 cups water to pot. Add split chiles, if using (omit if you don’t like really spicy barbecue), and bay leaves. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees, and continue to bake, basting occasionally for 2 hours, until meat is fork tender and falling off the bone. Pour off juices and remove rising fat. Cut pork into chunks or shred. Serve with pan juices, on a bun or roll, and/or with the cabbage salad. (Alternatively, refrigerate meat and juices for up to 2 days for easier fat removal, and reheat.)
Step 4To make optional cabbage salad, place cabbage in a low, wide bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss well. Add orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, jalapeño, cumin and scallions. Toss well and leave to macerate for at least 1 hour; repeat tossing once or twice. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.