Scott County Missouri-Style Dry Ribs

This recipe comes from Michel Nischan, author of Homegrown Pure and Simple.


  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks (about 4 pieces)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 full rack baby back ribs, cut into 2-rib portions
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large 6-quart stock pot, bring the ham hocks and 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the onion, bay leaves and black peppercorns. Partially cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow stock to simmer until meat falls off the bone, about 2 1/2 hours. Strain stock and skim fat off the surface.

Take the ribs out of refrigeration while preparing the grill. Position charcoal on one side of the grill and light the coals until they are white hot, about 15 minutes. If using a gas grill, turn one side on high and the other side on medium. Sear the ribs over the hot part of the grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely caramelized. Move the ribs to the cooler side of the grill, baste with ham hock stock, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat this process until the ribs begin to sag when you pick them up, about 40 minutes.


4 servings