Pulled Pork Bowl: Oven-Braised Country Style Ribs

What should you do when you find yourself on a cold, blustery day with an extra pack of country style ribs in the fridge? Braise them in the oven in a homemade BBQ sauce. And what if there isn’t enough for a meal? Turn them into a pulled pork bowl using sides you might find at a barbecue.

I like a good grain/salad/noodle bowl for a variety of reasons. Top of the list is that you can create a flavor profile (barbecue!) with things that you already have in the kitchen. Kiddo likes them because they’re “a little bit of everything” meal and cleans her plate. Win win.

The foundation for this pulled pork bowl is a recipe adapted from Saucy Country-Style Oven Ribs on Epicurious. Country style ribs aren’t actually ribs, but are typically cut from the shoulder of the pig. Here’s a diagram, for those of you who like to know your cuts of meat.

a bowl of pulled pork, cornbread croutons, corn and other vegetables

You can certainly make the sauce as spicy as you like. Feel free to increase the cayenne or add chili powder or whatever makes you happy. You could also puree the sauce if your BBQ sauce has to be smooth.

The most important thing here is the low, slow braise of those country style ribs.

Frequently asked questions

Why do you boil the ribs before braising them?

Parboiling at a simmer (a low boil) helps to tenderize the ribs and decreases some of the fat in the braise. It is not essential, but if you skip this step, you will want to braise them for longer.

Can I use store-bought BBQ sauce?

Of course. But making your own is easy, requires items you probably already have in your kitchen, and you can set the balance of sweetness and spiciness to any level you like. But sometimes convenience wins

Country style ribs braised in homemade BBQ sauce (for pulled pork bowl)

Total Time 4 hours
Author uglyducklingbakery


  • 2 lb boneless, country-style pork ribs
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp yellow or brown mustard
  • 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • tsp cayenne pepper or more to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  • In a large pot, cover the ribs with several inches of water, bring to a low boil, and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the BBQ sauce. In a large saute or frying pan, cook the onions over medium low heat until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and stir for one minute.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes. Adjust the salt, pepper, and spiciness to taste.
  • Drain the ribs, pat them try with a paper towel, and place them in a shallow baking dish. Add BBQ sauce to cover.
  • Cover the baking dish tightly with tin foil and cook for 2 hours.
  • Remove the foil and bake for an additional hour until the ribs are fork-tender and fall apart easily.
  • Let cool briefly and then remove from the BBQ sauce to separate the meat from the fat.
  • Skim the fat off of the BBQ sauce and serve alongside the pulled pork.

What’s in this bowl?

Also in this bowl:
Quinoa topped with toasted, chopped pecans
Sweet potato salad from the Jubilee cookbook
Pickled green cherry tomatoes
Buttered corn (sadly, from frozen)
Cornbread croutons made from the Brown Butter Skilled Cornbread from Melissa Clark’s Dinner
All over a bed of green leaf lettuce and served with additional BBQ sauce on the side.

What’s next?

If you make this pulled pork bowl, please comment and/or share a pic!

Check out other grain and salad bowls like:
Rainbow poke bowl with seared tuna, sushi crab salad, and Japanese scrambled eggs Mediterranean lamb bowl
Taco meatloaf bowl
Swimming rama tofu bowl

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