How did "country style ribs" get their name?

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fatback joe

Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jun 13, 2007
Hampden, MA
This are the kind of things I wonder is the story if you didn't know.......well......I guess it is still the story even if you did know. LOL

Country Style Spareribs were developed in the late 60's and early 70's by an enterprising butcher, meat cutter and teacher named Cliff Bowes from the Chicago area. For years grocery and meat markets had a hard time merchandising the Rib End of a pork loin....the chops looked terribly fatty and bony......and this cut would usually end up as an Rib End roast, the bottom chops in a package of "Quarter Sliced Pork Loin", or boned out and ground up for sausage. Cliff split the bones about an inch from the back bone and then split the meat into a tri-fold and scoring between the bones. Voilà, Country Style Ribs were born! It was a pretty impressive piece of meat in the display case. A few years later on, myself and other meat cutters, just split the rib end in two and cut into little 'chops' approx 1 1/4" thick and displayed 'meat' side up. Now you couldn't keep them in the meat case at all and they became a rarity, except to a select few that would beg you to save "all you can get". The problem of having too many rib ends of pork was no longer a problem.

In the mid to late 80's, to keep up with the demand for "Country Style Ribs", pork shoulder butts (Boston Butt) were split in two underneath the blade bone and cut into strips on the saw, some boneless, some bone in. These so called 'ribs' cut from the shoulder are 99% of the Country Style Ribs that you see today in the supermarkets and your large chain box stores (Sam's, Costco, etc). They are by no means 'ribs', but a tasty cut for the grill. I brine mine and cook approx 275° indirect for 2 1/2-3 hours and they come out perfect every time.

Some select stores will also merchandise other cuts of pork as Country Style Ribs. The Sirloin End of the pork loin, for instance. I've even seen some Center Cut boneless loins cut into 'ribs'. Pork "Cushion Meat" (the meaty muscle from the shoulder Picnic) can be cut into strips for a tasty treat on the grill. Keep this in mind when cooking any of these other cuts…if the meat is fatty; cook it slow over a low heat. If the meat is lean; it is best cooked as a chop, hot and quick.

Lately, I have seen Beef Country Style Ribs in some of the area supermarkets. They are basically nothing more than a Chuck Roll, or a Shoulder Clod, that has been butter flied and cut into boneless strips of meat. Keep in mind that these will benefit from marinating and a slow cook on your grill or smoker.
"In pre-revolutionary New England and into the Revolutionary War, some pork cuts (not those highly valued, or "high on the hog," like loin and ham) were packed into casks or barrels (also known as "butts") for storage and shipment. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known in other regions as "Boston Butt." This name stuck and today, Boston butt is called that almost everywhere in the US,… except in Boston.
I have a friend that runs a grocery ''salvage store'' and he has some
frozen BUTTS that are still in date for a buck a pound. He buys them in bulk before they expire and freezes them . Most folks don't buy them because they are still in the vacuum pack and they are just to big
to use in the normal kitchen mode. For a smoker it would be perfect
after thawing. The question I have is simply [why are they SO big ?].
ain't seen any in the butcher case this big before.. Hemi..
Sounds like it from your be honest, I can not tell from looking at them......someone on the forum might be able to, but not me.
Just called him and he told me that the outlet he got them from
was a meat whoesaler and did not package them for resale .
I remember seeing a description and an expiration date on them
but no ''label'' There HAS to be two in the packages unless there
are a breed of monster hogs out there somewhere . The packs are so tight pulled that it looks like one huge ''BUTT'' like a pair of bluejeans ..
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