March 16: Country Style Ribs

Many evenings, we need an easy and satisfying way to bring the family to the table without spending the day in the kitchen. Country style ribs fit the bill; let them slow cook while you get other things done. Fit in a stop at a winter farmers’ market this morning to find local ribs—or pull them out of the freezer if you’ve planned ahead with a meat CSA share or bulk purchase from a local farmer.

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CISA staffer Devon Whitney-Deal wears many hats. Besides coordinating CISA’s Local Hero Program, Devon manages the Greenfield Farmers’ Market and runs a business making jams and preserves from local fruit, Beaumont’s Berries. Devon also raises pigs. Here’s her recipe for country style ribs.

The night before you plan to eat the ribs, rub them all over with spice mix.  Here’s one similar to the one that Devon makes.  Local Hero salsa maker Hedgie’s Hot Stuff also make a spice rub if you’d like to buy one from a local business. Double wrap them in aluminum foil and put them in the fridge overnight. A couple of hours before you want to eat, take them out and put them in a heavy pan with a lid, and put in the oven at 325°. Check them after an hour and a half, but they may well take two hours. You want to cook them until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Serve with barbecue sauce.

If you like barbecue sauce, it’s a great home-canned good to have in your pantry in the winter, but it’s important to use a recipe that’s safe for canning. There are recipes in both the Ball Blue Book and Ball’s newer Complete Book of Home Preserving. I’ve also searched for barbecue sauce recipes sweetened with maple syrup; here’s one to try.