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Country-Style Ribs with Quick-Pickled Watermelon

This recipe combines tender, flavorful country-style ribs with a unique and refreshing quick-pickled watermelon. The contrast between the rich, savory ribs and the tangy, sweet watermelon creates a delightful dish perfect for summer gatherings

Country-Style Ribs with Quick-Pickled Watermelon


For the Country-Style Ribs:

2 lbs country-style pork ribs
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (store-bought or homemade)

For the Quick-Pickled Watermelon:

4 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Fresh mint leaves for garnish


Prepare the Ribs:

Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, smoked paprika, brown sugar, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using) to form a paste.
Rub the spice paste evenly over the ribs, coating them well.
Place the ribs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cover with another sheet of foil and seal the edges to create a packet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 2.5 to 3 hours, until the ribs are tender and cooked through.

Prepare the Quick-Pickled Watermelon:

In a medium saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar, water, granulated sugar, kosher salt, black peppercorns, crushed red pepper flakes (if using), and sliced garlic. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.
Place the watermelon cubes and sliced red onion in a large, heatproof bowl. Pour the hot pickling liquid over the watermelon and onion.
Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.

Finish the Ribs:

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
Remove the ribs from the oven and discard the top layer of foil. Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce.
Grill the ribs for 5-7 minutes per side, or until they are nicely charred and the barbecue sauce is caramelized.


Arrange the ribs on a serving platter. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Serve the quick-pickled watermelon on the side, garnished with additional fresh mint leaves.



Marinade Variation: For a different flavor profile, try adding a tablespoon of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce to the rib marinade.
Pickling Liquid: The quick-pickled watermelon can be made spicier by adding more crushed red pepper flakes or a sliced jalapeño.
Storage: The quick-pickled watermelon can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Wine Pairing:

Pair this dish with a crisp, refreshing white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a light, fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir.

Enjoy your Country-Style Ribs with Quick-Pickled Watermelon, a perfect combination of savory and tangy flavors that will delight your taste buds and impress your guests!

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