Spareribs & Sauerkraut 2

While on a recent grocery shop (which for me is a very regular occurrence!) a jar of sauerkraut caught my attention, and just seemed to be calling out to me. Strange..? Perhaps. Perhaps I was thinking about my Mom. Perhaps my soul was crying out for childhood comfort, needing something totally dee-lish like her fabulous version of Polish sauerkraut! 


Whatever the reason, I would not be stymied by the fact that I don’t know, nor will never have her recipe.

“I remember how it tasted AND I’m a professional chef” I told myself. “I got this!”

Once I thought it through, it came together quite nicely. From needing to first brown the meat, then cook it slowly, I thought a heap of caramelized onions would be a great addition, bringing lots of flavour aboard. I also wanted to keep it fairly simple, even knowing that my Mom put a lot of ingredients in hers, with not just ribs, but also mushrooms and Polish sausage… and maybe even other yummy things that I can’t recall after all these years. Her version was levels above hearty, with a stick-to-your-ribs-fuel that was needed for long winter days on the farm.


What it lacks in appearance, it more than makes up for in taste. Judging a book – or anything – by its cover, is usually all kinds of wrong, and in the case of a long simmered dish it’s nothing that a sprinkling of something fresh & green can’t fix.


For best results, be sure to use a heavy bottomed pot that can go from stove top to oven. If it has any handles you think are not heat-proof or might be damaged – do what I do and wrap/cover them with foil. 

While this was not quite my Mom’s version, this was deliciously hearty, and just what I needed!

ps for extra comfort, you can serve this with mashed potatoes. Mom would’ve~

Spareribs and Sauerkraut
Serves 4
A comfort food one dish wonder, Polish style~
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
  1. Spareribs, 2 - 3 bones per person
  2. Kosher salt
  3. Freshly ground black pepper
  4. 1 large onion, cut into medium dice
  5. Olive oil, for browning (approx.2 TBSP)
  6. Butter, also for browning (approx. 1 TBSP)
  7. White wine, approx. 1/4 cup (could also use chicken stock or beer)
  8. Sauerkraut, 1 large jar, drained
  9. To garnish: a sprinkle of something green & chopped: Italian parsley, spinach, kale, etc
  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Cut ribs into 1-bone pieces, season with salt & pepper and set aside.
  3. In a casserole type pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil.
  4. Add rib pieces, without crowding the pot and brown well on all sides - cook in batches if necessary. Remove when browned and set aside.
  5. If there’s not much fat in the pan, add a splash more oil, and a spoonful of butter (for taste).
  6. Add the onions, a sprinkle of salt & pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes until softened and starting to colour.
  7. Turn heat to high, add wine and stir.
  8. Add drained sauerkraut and the browned rib pieces stirring gently to combine, with the ribs mostly under the sauerkraut.
  9. Add a lid and put in the oven to cook, for approx. 75 minutes, depending on the size of the ribs, heat of your oven, etc.
  10. Pull the pot out at approx. half way to check on the progress, and give it a gentle stir.
  11. You’ll know it’s done when the ribs are soft and starting to fall off the bone.
  12. To serve, place some sauerkraut in the bottom of a big shallow plate or bowl, top with 2 to 3 pieces of ribs, and then sprinkling of something green.
  1. *Tip: many people will rinse sauerkraut, especially if it's stored in wine. When draining, taste it, and rinse to your liking - it will mellow somewhat when cooking, but will remain with quite a strong taste if un-rinsed.
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