One of the nice things about moving to Minnesota is now we live close to my cousins. So, this Christmas when both her parents & mine came to town we were able to all get together. In my family that calls for only one meal, Spareribs & Sauerkraut.
I absolutely love this meal & hadn't had it in so long, such a treat. This is the recipe my Grandfather always used to cook for family gatherings & apparently the dish came from his mother. The ribs & sauerkraut cook together which I think gives the ribs a great flavor while adding bits of meat to the sauerkraut. I even love the smell of it cooking! Mashed potatoes are always served with this dish & most people eat it with sauerkraut on the potatoes, though I prefer to the potatoes with butter myself.
Grandpa Kroll's Spareribs & Sauerkraut
5 lbs spareribs (with fat trimmed off)
2 large cans of good sauerkraut
1 raw potato, peeled
Put a layer of ribs on the bottom of a large pot. Top with a layer of sauerkraut. Pepper generously. Repeat these three layers until all the ribs & sauerkraut have been used. Add an inch of water to the pot. Simmer at least 1 hour or until the meat begins to fall off the bone. (This is a very debated time, some people cook it for 1.5 hours while others 3. Ours were cooked for about 1.5 & were perfect.) Keep an eye on the water while cooking & add more if needed so the kraut doesn't burn.
Remove the meat from the pot. Coarsely grate the potato into the sauerkraut & stir. Place the meat on top & cook another 10 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes.
My grandfather would turn the leftovers, if there were any, into lunch the next day but frying the mashed potatoes with onion & making sauerkraut sandwiches.