I admit I love sauerkraut. One of my most favorite comfort foods is an old-fashioned sauerkraut, ribs and potato dish that my family has enjoyed for many generations. On my recent January trip to Minnesota for my uncle’s 90th birthday I was greeted with the intoxicating aromas upon entering the house. It was a very warm heartfelt hug on a very cold evening indeed! We had no leftovers, but if you do, it’s equally good—or better—reheated the next day.
This latest adaptation of pork and sauerkraut includes fresh cabbage. Simply add potatoes or brown rice to complete this meal. Bon appétit!
Old Fashioned Sauerkraut, Ribs And Potatoes
(Serves 6 generously)
2 racks of meaty pork ribs (about 6 to 7 pounds)
About 1/3 cup wondra flour for dusting
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, mincedFor the sauerkraut:1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 medium onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 quart good quality cooked sauerkraut with juices
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: 1-teaspoon caraway seeds
7 to 8 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 to 2 cups water or chicken stock
Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley for garnish
1/2 cup whole grain mustard
1/3 cup Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Coleman’s dry mustard or more to taste
Splash olive oil
To prepare the ribs:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a Ziploc bag, add flour, celery salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and shake until mixed.
Working in batches, shake ribs in the flour until coated and arrange them on a rack inside a large roasting pan.
Bake uncovered until brown and crisp, turning at least once or twice, about one and one-half hours.
Meanwhile, in a heavy casserole with a lid over moderate heat, add oil and butter and sauté onions until beginning to soften, add carrots and celery and sauté about five minutes.
Add sauerkraut and apple, mix well, cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Add pepper and caraway seeds, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.
When the ribs are brown and the meat nearly falling off the bone, add sauerkraut to the ribs and mix well.
Tuck potatoes in and around the sauerkraut and ribs, add water or stock to the pan, cover, and return to oven.
Bake until the potatoes are tender to the point of a table fork, about 25 minutes.
While the potatoes cook, whisk mustards and oil together until it becomes a sauce.
Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a small bowl or pitcher.
Sprinkle parsley over the whole affair.
Ladle portions of ribs, kraut, and potatoes into soup bowls, and pass the mustard sauce.
Serve with Gewurztraminer or Pinot Noir. Add a green salad, crusty bread, and an assortment of cheese and grapes to complete the meal.
Pepper Seared Medallions Of Pork With
Kraut And Cabbage
2 tenderloins of pork, about 1 1/2 pounds each
For the marinade:
4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of a large lemon or 2 medium lemons
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary, whole
About 1/3 cup dry vermouth
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Coarse sea salt to taste
For the sauce:
2 cups Zinfandel wine
1 vanilla bean
2 cups veal demi-glace (found in gourmet section)
Whisk the oil, lemon juice and two sprigs of thyme and rosemary together with vermouth.
Add the tenderloins, roll around to coat them, cover, and marinate at least 30 minutes or up to one hour. If longer, refrigerate.
Meanwhile, in a nonreactive saucepan over high heat, add wine, vanilla bean, and demi-glace, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture is syrupy, reduced by half, and the sauce coats the back of a metal spoon, about 30 minutes.
Remove the vanilla bean and reserve the sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Remove the tenderloins from marinade. Pat them dry with paper towels and season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a heavy skillet over high heat, sear the tenderloins on all the sides.
Transfer meat to a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 cup each of Zinfandel and demi-glace to the hot skillet and scrape up all the bits in the bottom of the pan.
Pour pan juices over the meat and bake until a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees F or done according to personal preference, about 20 minutes.
Remove from, oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
Bring sauce to a simmer.
Slice tenderloins into medallions (about 1-inch thick).
Arrange on a plate, spoon a tablespoon of sauce over the meat and garnish with sprigs of herbs.
And Red Cabbage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 head red cabbage, cored, and cut into slaw
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound sauerkraut with juices
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
In a heavy saucepan over moderate high heat, coat the bottom with oil.
Add onion and garlic and sauté until aromatic.
Add apple, red cabbage, salt, pepper, and sauté about two to three minutes.
Stir in kraut, cover, and cook until the red cabbage is tender.
Taste and adjust the seasonings and serve with pork tenderloin.