Country-style Pork Ribs with Onions, Apples and Sauerkraut

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So as promised, I wanted to share the recipe we developed but were unable to enter into our family picnic’s “Kraut Competition.” Because I had just started my job, we weren’t able to finish the recipe in time, and well, I’m kind of perfectionist — at least when it comes to something that might be shared with a group.

Sauerkraut is the primer staple in my family. Some of us even have the t-shirt to prove it. It’s one of those foods that people seem to either love or hate. I actually hated it growing up. That grey sour-smelling ooze stewing in grandma’s crock pot got no love from me for a very long time. I couldn’t tell you exactly when that changed, but now I can’t get enough of it, especially if it’s made by family.

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My mom was kind enough to give me this jar that she got from my uncle’s stock. He owns a nursery and has an amazing garden, so this is definitely the good stuff.

We paired the full jar of my uncle’s kraut with a thick rack of pork ribs, onions and a few granny smith apples to compliment the sour + saltiness of the rest of the ingredients. Super simple right? Even better yet, we popped everything in the crock, so it was hands-off cooking!

Ingredients:

2 to 3 pounds country-style pork ribs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium-size yellow onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium-size red onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 medium-sized tart cooking apples (Granny Smith), cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 pounds fresh sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup beef or vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. Grease the bottom of the slow cooker with butter or oil. Season ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Layer in the onions, apples, ribs and sauerkraut. Sprinkle with the caraway seeds and pour the juice and broth over everything.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW until tender and meet begins to separate from the bone, around 8 to 9 hours. Serve hot!

Serves 4 to 6.

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It turned out perfectly, and reminded me a lot of my grandma’s recipe. The rib meat fell right off the bones, and coupled with the apples and kraut had a delightful depth in flavor.

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A few cooks notes. I highly advise using thicker-cut fresh kraut in bags, which you can typically find in your deli or produce section, over massed-produced canned or jarred varieties. The cabbage in those varieties is often shredded much too finely to stand up to 8-9 hours of crock time and will be utter mush by the time you’re finished.



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