Any specific recipes?
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1) Low n' slow, like all the best ribs IMO. 2) Depends; at my local grocery, it tends to be whatever's leftover from the pig that day. Wiki says they're from the blade end of the loin near the shoulder. They're kind of like a cross between a pork chop and a sparerib. 3&4) Just regular pigs - hopefully raised in a humane environment, even better from a local farm or butcher. 5) Not sure! I'm a fan though... I usually improvise them so I don't have a recipe to offer.
I'm seriously going to start buying local farm pork if for no other reason than to know where these cuts actually come from. They are pretty well-treated down here; most people can't afford industry-type pens and there's lots of land.
my local family owned meat market with real butchers sells wonderful country ribs that include bones on both ends with terrifically tender pork chop meat in the middle. i cut off the bones at the ends and make little rib lets of each and cut long strips of 1x1" in dimension of some of the meat. these are then marinated in soy, sesame oil, garlic, honey and mirin and then slow baked on a rack and basted with the marinade to make a version of char sieu. the best and most tender of the center meat i cut up into individual small pork chop size serving and wrap and freeze for another time.
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I use country style ribs in my Sunday gravy all the time. They braise nicely and the meat lends well to a rich pasta sauce.
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Here in Portland, country style pork ribs are boneless. They are nicely fatty and very inexpensive. I have been adding them to Merrill's Brothy Garlicky Beans which I have on hand in the freezer at all times.
This thread got me really curious about country style ribs (thanks marcmarc! :) ) so I did a little Googling. Here's a useful link that identifies the most common varieties:http://www.countrystyleribs.org/start-here/I wasn't able to find anything on the cut's (or cuts') origins, but then I didn't really dive too deep.
Mine are the third photo. No wonder they are so good cooked with Merrills beans. I actually found them with a bone once. I cut the bones off to add to my stock bones. Then I cooked the meat as usual. They were very dry. I'll bet they were photo one.
They seem to be a different cut in various parts of the country. Ask the butcher where you see them, he should be able to elaborate and tell you whether they are from commodity pork.