Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spareribs & Sauerkraut

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.
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.

Serves 4

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.


Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Great comfort food. Hope your holidays are happy!

Deborah said...

I've never had spareribs and sauerkraut together before, but this looks like a great winter dish!

Cynthia's Blog said...

I remember watching Young and the Restless back in the 80's. One of the characters was always talking about his mothers Spareribs and sauerkraut. Now I know.

Anonymous said...

Ah Duluth, my home town. As beautiful as that picture is, I can't trade if for the 80 degrees of warmth here in Fort Lauderdale. Wonderful blog you have.

Peter M said...

I'm really digging the spareribs and saurkraut combo..and LOL at the Y & R reference!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I have sauerkraut - just need to get some ribs!

Paul De Kraut said...

The trick to sauerkraut is to drain but do not discard the packing liquid, and then rinse the sauerkraut VERY BRIEFLY in cold water, and then drain it again, discarding the second run-off. This allows you to do two things: sweeten the sauerkraut, in a controlled fashion, using as little sugar as possible (sugar--brown OR white, works better with the addition of a little honey), AND you can now use the reserved packing liquid to re-sour if you made it too sweet, as well as having enough packing liquid to use for cooking the ribs separately from the sauerkraut. The sauerkraut is finished on the stowetop, with onions grilled in butter, and EITHER wine OR beer. If you add wine OR beer to the sauerkraut on the stovetop, then add the SAME beverage to the cooking pot with the ribs. If using beer, it is also permissable to add cored, peeled, and chopped apples (or applesauce) to the sauerkraut. But combining wine with apples doesn't seem to work out quite as well. Also try my trick: in the last minute of cooking, just before serving the sauerkraut, give it several dashes of Angostura Bitters, and stir it thoroughly. I am a German-American who has been enjoying Sauerkraut since Harry Truman was President.

Unknown said...

This was my favorite dish as a child and on birthdays when my Mother would ask what to make as our favorite meal this was always my choice. The way the Kroll's make it is how I remember, just the ribs, kraut and mashed potatos with nothing but a pat of butter on the potatos. My Mother would cook hers in the oven and the smell would drift though the house and make your mouth water. I've tried to make this myself with less impressive results, Im not sure if it's a Mothers touch or what she did but I've yet to have mine turn out like hers.

MarieDesi said...

To Tracyusa38: My mother browned the ribs first, poured off fat, added water, rinsed kraut, caraway seeds, and Ketchup, stewing on low for about 2 hours. We added more ketchup while eating!
I found and love Silver Floss' Bavarian sauerkraut with caraway and a little sugar. Can eat right from can, has very little vinegar!

Unknown said...

Sauerkraut is the best food especially at Christmas.

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