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.
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!
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
- Grease the bottom of the slow cooker with butter or oil. Season ribs with salt and pepper.
- Layer in the onions, apples, ribs and sauerkraut. Sprinkle with the caraway seeds and pour the juice and broth over everything.
- 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.
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.
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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