Baby Back Ribs and Kraut, One Pot Meal Cooked Low and Slow

Full slab of baby backs slow and low on a bad of kraut, apple, and caraway.
My husband will be late for dinner this evening but no matter!  I have planned Ribs and Kraut after seeing it on "The Iowa Housewife."  It is a dish we grew up with.  We had kraut and wieners,  sausage and kraut, pork roast and kraut, and of course ribs and kraut!  Mother is as German as can be and we also made our own kraut from the cabbages in our garden.

I especially like to slow simmer the ribs and kraut together a long time in a cast iron Dutch Oven at 225 degrees F.  The end result just melts in your mouth.  This dish is made to wait on warm in the oven! You can adjust the cooking times to suit the situation.  I had shopping and errands that took most of the day so a delicious no mess meal fits the bill for me!

One of my trips home landed me in the kitchen at around 2:00 this afternoon.  I greased an enamel lined cast iron dutch oven with bacon grease and set the oven at 350 degrees F to start.....

This was just as good at 9 PM. as it would have been at 7.
Ingredients for Ribs and Kraut:

1 slab of ribs (I prefer baby back ribs but any pork rib will do fine.)
2 pounds of kraut drained
1/2 t. caraway seed
1 apple peeled, cored, and grated
2 T. sherry
2 T. water
coarse kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 T. bacon grease or butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Generously grease a non reactive heavy kettle with a tight fitting lid.  An enamel lined cast iron Dutch Oven is perfect!  Cut the slab of ribs in half then salt and pepper generously.  Place the ribs next to each other in the bottom of the pan bone side down and place them uncovered in the oven to brown.  Leave 60-90 minutes.  I left and went to the pharmacy and picked up my Granddaughter from the High School and they were perfectly browned by the time I got back!

Remove the ribs from the pan and set them aside.  Reduce the oven to 225 degrees F.  Place the drained kraut into the drippings in the bottom of the pan.  Add the grated apple and caraway seeds and toss them all together.  Sprinkle the Sherry and the water into the kraut mixture.  Arrange the ribs atop the kraut and cover tightly with the lid.  Return to the oven until tender.  Two hours is fine but longer is fine too.  That is what is so nice about this dish!  Yield 2-3 generous servings.

I served this with a cold bean salad and peanut butter cookies made over the weekend for dessert.

NOTE:  This would work as well in a slow cooker but I would recommend  browning the ribs in hot oil first then layer starting with the kraut.  Leave all day on low or half a day on high.


Apple Season Begins as the Garden Dwindles, Fall is Near and Winter Not Far Behind!

Beautiful apples picked just this morning!
As summer wains and fall nears apples and pumpkins abound.  The gardens dwindle  and the orchards spruce up for the fall crop.  I have very small pickings left of tomatoes and beans but today our friends the Linton's delivered near a bushel of apples from the tree in their yard.  I especially love this as he doesn't spray and there is no pesticide residue to have concerns about.
Today's picking from our garden is sparse.

Mike and Brian had big discussions about where to place an additional out building as Molly looked on!  I put 10 pounds in an orchard box to take to the kitchen and boxed the other 20+ pounds to store in the garage refrigerator until I get my bearings and process them!

Mike Linton and Brian ponder.
And Molly looks on!
Sewing is calling me and as usual I have lost most of the day already.  Maybe I will get some mending started as I contemplate apple something!  Thanks go out to our friends Mike and Mindy for the lovely apples!


BEACH PIE (A Lemon Pie) Is the BEST Lemon Pie I Have Ever Tasted AND I Blew My Diet Today!!

When I saw this recipe I just was taken with the crust made with a sleeve and a half of saltine crackers??  Yes there is more, a bit of butter and a bit of sugar equals salty and sweet plus lemon and whipped cream!  I HAD to try this!

I found the recipe on line and have it down as "Bill Smith's Atlantic Beach Pie" and I did adapt it a little.  It comes from Bill Smith of Crook 's Corner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where it is hailed as a sweet-salty twist on a classic lemon pie from that region.

I would have never thought to make the crust of saltine crackers but this works and well!

Ingredients for 1 Pie Crust:

1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers (about 60 crackers.)
1/2 C. soft butter
3 heaping T. sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 8-9" pie plate and set it aside.  Place the crackers in a gallon size zipper bag and crush them with a meat mallet or a rolling pin being very careful not to go too far with it!  You do NOT want to end up with powdered crackers but rather broken up crackers!
Add the sugar and the butter to the bag and knead them together until the crumbs hold together a bit.  Press into the pie shell and bake for 15 -18 minutes until golden.

After removing the crust from the oven as it cools a bit (it does not need to become cold), make the filling.

Ingredients for the Lemon or Lime Filling:

1, 14 ounce of canned sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice or lime juice or combination of both
fresh whipped cream
coarse salt for garnish, optional

Beat the egg yolks into the milk, then beat in the citrus juice.  I just used a big wire whisk and it was perfect.  It is imperative  to completely combine these ingredients until smooth.  Pour into the cracker crust and bake for another 16 minutes until the filling has set.  Cool and then refrigerate, the pie needs to be completely cold to be sliced.  Serve with fresh sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt if desired.

This so good I actually had a second piece, something I NEVER ever do!  So be warned, if you like sweet and salty and sweet and tart this pie is near irresistible. (At least it was for me!)