House smells like heaven: recipe!

Let me preface this by saying I have never been a fan of sauerkraut.

That’s putting it mildly.

For some mysterious reason while working on this month’s meal plans, the idea popped into my head.

pjHusband immediately thought it strange and queried if we were adding to the brood.

Not yet. 

I acted on this impulse at the grocery store and remembered the package of country ribs in the freezer I had purchased a few weeks before on sale.

I’ve never bought country ribs before.

Hmm…

So take these recipes as inspiration with a few choice modifications from the comments (isn’t finding new recipes on the internet–complete with a peanut gallery–the best?!).

Sauerkraut and Country Ribs

1.5 lbs country ribs

6 oz. kielbasa, sliced on the bias (I used turkey. Will rethink for the next time after reading the label).

3 oz. bacon, diced

1 onion, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled (leave whole)

1 apple, cored quartered and sliced

1/4 c brown sugar

2 T Dijon mustard–I used Grey Poupon Country Dijon

salt

pepper

1 jar Bavarian-style kraut*

8 oz apple juice

10 small red new potatoes

1 T canola oil

Heat dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 T oil.  Salt and pepper ribs and smear with mustard.  Brown ribs on all sides (including bone). Remove from pan.  Brown kielbasa. Lower heat a little if the fond (the lovely brown crust on the bottom of the pan) starts browning too much. Add bacon and render fat.  Add onions, sweat in bacon fat.  Comment to self how amazing it all smells already.  Once wilted and lightly carmelized, add half of apple juice and scrape all brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Admire this thing of beauty.  Remove onions.

Add ribs back to dutch oven, place kielbasa on top. Layer kraut over, sprinkling with 1/4 c brown sugar.  Layer apple slices and onion-bacon goodness over. Pour in rest of apple juice.

Cook 1 hr over low heat.

Add cleaned new potatoes, cook another 1.5 hrs or until meat is fork-tender and potatoes are done.

*NB: I know nothing about kraut.  After reading recipe reviews, I worried that I didn’t buy the right kind (I bought jarred Bavarian, with white wine rather than fresh in-the-produce-section. Decided on using it as is, no rinsing, since most of the recipes called for white wine.  Will try fresh next time, well rinsed, and adding a little white wine.)

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4 Responses

  1. Yum. That will make a great meal after Thanksgiving when everyone is tired of turkey!

    A wonderful cook taught me how to tame kraut. Here are her secrets: 1) Always rinse it thoroughly to wash off much of the salt. 2) Fry up some onions in the pan before adding the rinsed and drained kraut. 3) Add some water to the pan once or twice during the cooking process. When you are just about satisfied with the result, let the water cook off.

    If you try her method, you will get a very digestible, tasty result, and you may even become a kraut fan like me!

    For a hearty meal on a cold night in about 45 minutes, I like to add in some pre-cooked kielbasa or ham, some chunks of cooked potatoes, and maybe some apple chunks and caraway while the kraut simmers.

    Just thinking about it makes me hungry!

    • Thanks for the tips, QR! I will try the quick-and-easy version in a few weeks. Very happy that the toddler approved last night! The apple juice helped, I think, as did a few handfuls of fresh cabbage. I liked the texture difference. One question: do you use fresh kraut? I didn’t rinse last night, and it was quite good–but Bavarian in wine. I didn’t salt the meat as much as I would have normally, and the potatoes not at all, and it all came out fine. I know if I use fresh kraut I have to rinse, though.

      • Lately I have been using fresh kraut; it’s a bit crunchier and more nutritious, and much more readily available than it used to be. However, I recommend thoroughly rinsing both the canned and fresh. You’ll get an even better result, I think.

      • I will try fresh next time and rinse, QR. I wonder if rinsing washes away all the good lacto-fermentation goodness, though? That was one of the considerations in the back of my head when trying–knowing how good it is for you. Though that still hasn’t helped me gulp down kimchee yet ; )

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