Country-style spare ribs are actually a misnomer because the meat does not come from the rib section of a pig. Country-style ribs are actually from the blade end of the pork loin. Usually, these pieces come with a bone attached, but are sometimes boneless, too. These cuts are leftovers when a pork loin is broken down into pork chops. Like other parts of the pig, country-style ribs are flavorful, but have marbled fat and sinew. A good option for cooking boneless country-style ribs is in the oven.
Rinse the country-style ribs under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels. Mix together seasonings in a bowl using a whisk. Good options for seasonings include salt, brown sugar, ground black pepper, sweet paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and ground cayenne pepper. Coat each pork piece with the seasonings and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil to the pan; enough to coat the bottom of the skillet.
Lay the country-style ribs into the skillet away from you so as to avoid burns from the hot oil. Sear the ribs for about two or three minutes per side, until a crust forms and the meat pulls away from the pan easily. Use tongs to turn them. Sear the ribs on all sides. Repeat with a second batch of ribs, if necessary.
Add about 1 cup of liquid, like water or beer, to the bottom of a broiler pan or a baking sheet. Place the top rack of the broiler pan, or put a wire rack on top of the baking sheet. Place the ribs on the pan with about an inch of space between each piece of meat. Use a second pan, if needed.
Cover the pan or pans tightly with aluminum foil and place into the oven. Roast for three to four hours, or until the meat shreds easily with a fork. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the country-style ribs, which should register at least 145 F at the thickest part of the meat. Remove from the oven and allow the meat to cool for five minutes to allow for carryover cooking.
- Add barbecue sauce to the country-style ribs during the last 10 minutes of cooking if you would like. Remove the foil and baste the sauce liberally onto each rib using a food-grade brush. Cook for five minutes, then turn each rib over and baste the other side. After another five minutes, take them out of the oven.
Based in Virginia Beach, Mark S. Baker has been working in editorial for more than 20 years. He has served as a writer and editor for publications such as the "Houston Post," "Boca Raton News" and "Interactive Week," among others. Baker also has a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University and has his own catering business.