Smoked pork ribs with sauerkraut is a recipe I like to cook in winter. It’s a rather fat and heavy dish, so it’s best when you come home from a freezing walk in the snow. It’s not a quick recipe, as it needs almost 2 hours to cook, so don’t try it if you don’t have enough time.
For what I’m going to describe further on, please note that I had the sauerkraut from my mum and the pork ribs were already smoked when I bought them. However, if you want and if your house setting allows for that, it’s nice to smoke meat by yourself.
So, I took an average size sauerkraut:
I cut it in quarters, got rid of the core, then chopped it like this:
After chopping the sauerkraut, I put it in a pot with cold water and left it there until I finished preparing the smoked pork ribs.
I had to do this because the sauerkraut was too salty to use it just as it was. If you are rather the “less-salty-foods” type, you might want to leave the sauerkraut in water over night.
Then I took the smoked pork ribs, rinsed them in cold water and put them on the chopping board:
I cut them into 1 – 1.5 inch thick slices, along the bones. It’s easy, if you follow the interval between the bones and if you use a really sharp knife.
I heated two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet and browned the pork ribs. You don’t need to cook them completely, just make sure the heat is high enough to brown them nicely. This means you need to cook them for about 2 minutes maximum on each side
Be very careful, because the oil will jump in all directions when you put the meat into the skillet. I’m not saying your kitchen is going to be messy, because that’s for sure. I’m saying you may get some nasty burns if those hot oil drops land on your skin. I’ve got proof: I took a photo of my arm, but I’m not sure I want to post it here.
Anyway, after you brown all the meat, put it on a plate and set it aside:
Take the sauerkraut out of the water. Squeeze it very well to dry.
In a big pot, put two tablespoons olive oil, spread it all over the bottom of the pot, then add one layer of sauerkraut, one layer of smoked pork ribs, until you finish all ingredients. Add about one tablespoon black peppercorns, two bay leaves, another tablespoon of olive oil and two cups of water.
Now cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 50 minutes. Stir occasionally. If it runs very low on water during all this time, add some more.
Add one cup of tomato juice. Continue cooking over low heat, this time with no lid on the pot. Cooking uncovered has the purpose to reduce the juice. If you want, you can add a teaspoon or two of paprika at this stage of cooking. I didn’t, but if you do, you’ll see the food gets a nicer color.
Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often in order to prevent the food to stick to the bottom of the pan.
The sauerkraut with smoked pork ribs is best hot. Nonetheless, let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving it, as it gets REALLY hot!
- 1 average size sauerkraut, cored, chopped
- 1 pound smoked pork ribs, sliced
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)