Country Style Boneless Pork Shoulder Ribs

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Here marks the end of an exciting week honoring the beautiful clementine! And to do so, I’ve got a little story I’d like to share with you.

Interesting things happen when we don’t expect them to, and it is during those moments when I am in awe at how the universe works. We all have bad days, and I was having one about two weeks ago when I inadvertently broke the tip off of a VERY expensive kitchen knife. I was beside myself, but instead of simultaneously falling into a dark pit of despair and exploding with rage, I decided to go for a walk.

I strolled up Collins Avenue here in Miami Beach for 20 blocks before I decided to return home. On my way back to the scene of the crime, I stopped by my local supermarket with no real agenda. Whenever I’m not sure about what I’m going to cook, I’ll roam the aisles until I come across something that inspires me.

I have lots of experience with pork shoulder. Pubs and bars have given me the best pulled pork sandwiches. I’ve also worked with it in my kitchen quite a bit — whole, halved, without the bone and cut into chops. But that day, the culinary gods saw my pain and in my path they set a cut I had never seen before then.

Sitting in the meat section was a pack of country-style ribs. Instead of the cut being from the pork loin (as they more commonly are), they were from the shoulder — completely marbled and screaming for my pub touch. It had been a while since I’d made or eaten barbecue, and so I snatched up my pork discovery and within moments of returning home, I started putting together the recipe I share with you today.

My Country-Style Boneless Pork Shoulder Ribs is an ode to all of the pulled pork sandwiches and BBQ ribs I’ve had in the pubs I’ve visited. It blends everything we know and love about the country-style cut and the succulence of the pork shoulder. The combination of braising and broiling brings out the moistness of the pork while giving you a crisp exterior basted in a barbecue sauce made from the braise itself. It’s sweet. It’s savory. It’s some of the best ribs you’ll ever have and a perfect remedy for a pub food craving.

Country Style Boneless Pork Shoulder Ribs

(recipe serving size – 7 ribs)

For seasoning the ribs:

2 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder ribs, cut into 7 pieces

2 tb olive oil

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

Coat the pork in the olive oil and spices and set aside.

For the braise:

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices

12 oz amber beer (Yuengling)

1 cup chicken stock (or broth)

1 cup clementine juice (or orange juice if clementines are out of season)

1 1/2 tb honey

1 tb olive oil

1 tb butter

3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat a dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion in the butter and olive oil for 6-8 minutes until slightly browned. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the beer and place the pork into the pot. Drizzle with the honey, place a lid on the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and clementine juice. Raise the heat, bring to a boil and place the pot in the oven on the center rack. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the pork is fork tender. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.

For the sauce:

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tb tomato paste

1 tb honey

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Preheat your oven to broil.

Carefully remove the pork from the braise and place on a baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil to keep the pork warm.

Place the braising pot on the stove over medium-high heat and simmer the braise vibrantly for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it does not burn. Whisk the ingredients into the braising liquid and cook for another 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Baste the pork with the sauce and set the baking sheet in the oven on a rack 4-6 inches from the top. Broil for 3-5 minutes, watching closely for a slight char to develop. Carefully turn the ribs over, baste with more sauce and broil for another 3-5 minutes.

Bringing it all together:

Place the remaining sauce in a small dish. Serve the ribs on a cutting board or serving platter alongside the sauce while warm.

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