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.

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