Baked Country-Style Pork Ribs With Maple Barbecue Sauce

Baked country-style ribs

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 105 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
492 Calories
28g Fat
22g Carbs
41g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 492
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 145mg 48%
Sodium 1135mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 852mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These country-style ribs are baked to perfection and finished with a tasty homemade barbecue sauce flavored with maple syrup and a variety of spices. This recipe is a snap to prepare and cook, and with this type of pork rib, you won't have to worry about the bones, making for a neater eating experience.

Even though they are called boneless country-style ribs, they actually don't come from the ribs. Instead, they are cut from loin chops located near the shoulder blade. They have a lot of fat marbling, making them an excellent choice for longer cooking methods such as slow baking or braising. The texture and flavor of country-style ribs are similar to rib meat found on pork spareribs and baby back ribs—hence the confusing name. The advantage to country-style ribs is there is no waste as the cut is all meat and no bone; they're easy on the budget as well.

Serve these tender, succulent, country-style ribs with baked or mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn, or with your favorite steamed or fresh vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds country-style pork ribs

  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (if the Cajun seasoning is salt-free)

For the Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Optional: 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. or to taste

  • Pinch kosher salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a large, shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

    Ingredients for making baked country-style ribs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  2. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and place them in a single layer in the prepared pan.

    Ribs in a single layer in a pan

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  3. Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over the ribs. If the seasoning is salt-free, sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt as well. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

    Cajun seasoning over the ribs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the barbecue sauce ingredients. Stir to blend thoroughly.

    Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  5. Remove the ribs from the oven and carefully pour off most of the excess liquids. Spoon or brush the sauce mixture over the baked ribs.

    Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  6. Return the ribs to the oven and bake, uncovered, for about 15 to 20 minutes longer. The ribs are done when the sauce is baked on and the meat is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes.

    Baked country-style ribs on a platter

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  7. Serve and enjoy.

Tip

According to the USDA, the minimum safe temperature for pork is 145 F. If you are unsure of doneness, use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest pieces of meat.

Recipe Variations

  • Slice a large onion and lay the slices over the ribs after sprinkling with the seasoning.
  • Replace the maple syrup with molasses or honey, or add brown sugar or a sugar replacement to the sauce mixture, to taste.
  • A dry smoke-flavor seasoning blend is another good option to create a smoky barbecue sauce.
  • This same recipe can be made with ribs, bone-in shoulder chops, or slices of pork butt or shoulder.

Are Country-Style Ribs Tough?

Country-style ribs have fat marbled throughout the meat, making them good for low and slow cooking. If you don't cook them long enough at a relatively low heat, the meat will be tough. If slow-cooked, allowing the fat to break down and moisturize the meat, country-style pork ribs can be very tender.

What Is the Difference Between Country-Style Ribs and Baby Back Ribs?

Baby back ribs are the back ribs of the pig, trimmed and cut into "racks," or segments of joined ribs for easy cooking. Each segment contains a rib bone. Country-style pork ribs are not actually ribs—the cut actually comes from the shoulder area of the pig near the loin. They are boneless cuts, but thanks to their fat content, have a similar texture and flavor to boneless ribs.