When Spaniard Hernando de Soto first brought pigs to the United States in 1525, he began a cottage industry that today translates to the production of more than 19 billion pounds of pork and an annual per capita consumption of 50 pounds of pork per person. Today, pork riblets are cut from either the thin tips of the ribs or the thicker part of the rib closest to the spine. They can be roasted in the oven and, at 2 to 4 inches in length, are perfect for serving as appetizers and hors d'oeuvres.
Things You'll Need
Shallow roasting pan
Barbecue sauce and brush (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you use a convection oven, preheat it to 325 degrees, since the oven distributes heat more evenly and efficiently.
Place a single layer of riblets bone-side-up in a shallow roasting pan and place the pan, uncovered, in center of the oven.
Roast riblets for one hour, then turn them over. For barbecue riblets, brush your favorite barbecue sauce on the meat side of the ribs. Loosely cover ribs with a foil tent.
Continue roasting until the riblets reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove riblets from oven. Keep them covered and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
To enhance the flavor of the pork riblets, dry rub the pork riblets with your favorite herbs and seasonings before cooking. When checking the internal temperature of the pork, place the meat thermometer away from the bone in the thickest part of the meat.
Safely defrost fresh frozen pork in the refrigerator or under cold running water. You can use the microwave to defrost frozen pork but should plan on immediately cooking it after the defrost step. (See References 2) Do not par-cook pork ribs and refrigerate to finish later. This allows harmful bacteria to grow. (See References 2) The internal temperature of fresh pork should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, measured with a meat thermometer. (See References 2)