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Pork Prime is Sublime!

Posted on: May 28th, 2014

I admit I’ve for an obsession for the Pork Prime Rib, I’m convinced it’s the tastiest of all pork cuts and I just can’t get enough. Essentially the same thing as beef Prime or Standing Rib, I love it roasted, braised, as steaks, cut into cubes for chili and especially cut into Country Style Ribs.

Tender, juicy and flavorful, the Pork Prime Rib may just be the ultimate cut of pork!

When we cut Country Style Ribs at Tony’s we only use the Pork Prime, so every rib will have some baby back ribs and almost as much meat as a pork chop, the extra special juicy meat you can only get in the Pork Prime Rib. We’re one of the few markets that cut Country Ribs like this, more on that below, lets get to cooking these ribs!

Tony’s proper Country Style Ribs in our Hawaiian Marinade, slow grilled on the Big Green Egg 

 

I served these Hawaiian style ribs with Thai Chilli Sauce.

Cooking Country Ribs

Ribs are at their best when cooked low and slow. I recommend the Fool Proof Method or Indirect Grilling, both described below.
Fool Proof Method
Place ribs in a roasting pan, add liquid to about 1 inch deep, cover well and braise at 300-325° until they’re as tender as you like, generally 60-90 minutes will do it. The ribs can be chilled and saved for another day at this point. Next brush with the pan juices or a mist of oil and sprinkle generously with Tony’s BBQ Rub and grill over direct medium heat to brown; take care as BBQ Rubs burn easily. Now the ribs can be glazed with sauce or served with sauce on the side.
Indirect Grilling

Season the ribs generously with one of our Tony’s BBQ Rubs and rest at room temperature as you preheat an indirect grill (direct flame on part of the grill and no flame on the remainder). Close the lid and adjust to get temperature between about 250–325°. I like to add soaked wood chips to a tin and place directly on the gas burner and use a drip pan with some water in it under the ribs to catch the fats and add humidity. Grill slowly with indirect heat, turning occasionally, until the ribs nice and tender, about 1-2 hours depending on conditions – make sure they are at least 145-150° internal, but take care not to overcook and dry them out. If you have a Big Green Egg grill, use it, only a full sized smoker can do a better job.Find some tasty Country Style Rib recipes at the end of this post.

Proper Country Style Ribs cut from the Pork Prime Rib, only the cuts with the baby back rib will do!
When is a Rib not a Rib?
Years ago I was horrified to discover that most grocery stores don’t use ribs for their Country Style Ribs. What the heck?! My dad (Tony) taught us to cut Country Style Ribs from the Pork Prime and to only use the side with the baby back ribs attached, the side with some of the tastiest meat on the entire animal!
Chain stores cut most of their Country Style Ribs from the Pork Shoulder, what we use for sausage. There’s nothing wrong with the pork shoulder, but it’s NOT a rib, and certainly not as good as the Pork Prime – it’s literally like comparing Prime Rib to Chuck Roast.
Left: Tony’s proper Country Style Ribs cut from the Pork Prime Rib.
Right: Other markets ‘ribs’ and ‘boneless ribs’ cut from the shoulder, egad!

Boneless Rib Ridiculousness

Avoid injected, choose Tony’s Natural Meats.
Since I’m venting here, I’m also disgusted with ‘Boneless Ribs’ because they’re usually not cut from the rib but fashioned from from lesser cuts. The only exception I can think of are our boneless beef short ribs, which I can guarantee are cut from ribs, but I’ve seen butchers try to fake boneless short ribs in the past.
Injected Meats
Another common practice is injecting or vacuum pumping meats with a chemical and water solution, raising the weight by 15-20% and improving the taste of lower quality meats. About 75% of pork and chicken are injected and injecting beef is also becoming very common.
You’ll never find injected meats at Tony’s, but they’re very common in other markets and restaurants. These adulterated meats usually trick shoppers into thinking they are saving money, but really they just increase store profits. Here are ingredients lists from pork ribs and chicken fillets I found at neighboring markets…
Pork Rib Ingredient List (not Tony’s!)
Pork, Water, Salt, Dextrose, Preservatives (BHA, Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid).
Chicken Breast Fillet Ingredient List (not Tony’s!)
Chicken Rib Meat, Water, Sugar, Salt, Sodium Phosphates, Modified Tapioca Starch, Spice, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Maltodextrin, Sunflower Lecithin, Gum Arabic.

 

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