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Country Style Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut Recipe

The recipe for Country Style Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut is a traditional German dish that will have your family coming back for seconds. This meal is perfect to serve on cold winter days when you want something hearty and satisfying.

Now that the weather is getting a little cooler, get out your slow cooker and try this simple recipe for spareribs and sauerkraut. It’s easy to make and will have your whole house smelling great.

Classic Comfort Food Recipe

Back when I was a child growing up and everyone sat at the dinner table and ate the same thing, this is one of the recipes that my parents made. As soon as the weather started cooling off, things that were baked in the oven or made in the slow cooker made their appearance at the dinner table.

One of the things I love about this recipe is how the pork ribs are so tender they just fall apart with a gentle tug.

Did you know that pork ribs and sauerkraut is a traditional dish in many European countries? In this post, I will show you how to make this delicious and easy meal in your slow cooker with just a few ingredients.

Country Style Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut
Country Style Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

Country-Style Pork Ribs Versus Bone-In Pork Ribs

Today, I made this recipe using the country style ribs where there is a lot more meat and today with no bone in the rib meat pieces. However, depending what is on sale or what I have in my freezer, I also make this with the bone-in pork ribs.

To be honest, I think that the bone-in pork ribs are more tender when cooked this way than the country-style ribs. However, both the boneless pork ribs and the bone-in pork ribs are a delicious combination with the sauerkraut.

In fact, I think that the pork meat tones down the tanginess of the sauerkraut and provides a bit more mellow taste.

Meaty Pork Ribs and Kraut Meal
Meaty Pork Ribs and Kraut Meal

Variations to this Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut Recipe

If you wanted to be a bit more traditional with this recipe, you would add potatoes, onion, a bit of brown sugar, and apples. Here is a wonderful recipe for the more traditional German version of this Slow-Cooker Country-Style Ribs and Sauerkraut recipe.  

Some recipes instruct you to sear the pork before adding it to the sauerkraut. This recipe skips that step. Easy recipes where you can just combine ingredients and cook them with amazing results are sometimes all we can muster after a long day.

While it does add a bit more of a caramelized taste to the meat, I often opt for not searing them as it is just easier.

If you do want to caramelize the outside of your meat, I like to use a cast iron pan. Just add a bit of oil to the pan and heat over medium/high heat. Once the oil starts to ripple, the pan is hot enough. Place ribs in a single layer in the pan, being careful not to overload the pan. This will cause the meat to steam and not sear.

Once the meat pulls away from the pan easily, it is ready to turn and repeat the process on another side. Once the meat is seared on all sides, add to the sauerkraut. This whole process only takes 10-15 minutes.

Caraway Seeds. Occasionally, I will add a tablespoon of dried caraway seeds to the pork and sauerkraut mixture. They add a subtle hint of licorice taste with a hint of citrus and black pepper notes. I like to add the seeds whole as they gently flavor the entire dish, but you get that extra sharp flavor when randomly biting into one. These seeds are a perfect compliment to potatoes, apples, cabbage, and pork. Give it a try to see if you like this additional spice in this dish.

What are Country Style Ribs?

Often country style ribs are referred to as pork loin country style ribs. The pork loin country-style ribs are a great cut of meat that has the perfect ratio. The tenderness, marbling, and flavor with just enough fat makes these your go to for pulled barbecue or traditional rib sandwiches!

However, thick strips cut from pork shoulder without bones can also be called country style ribs. Often, I see boneless pork country-style ribs at my grocery store. However, your grocer or butcher may have some bones in the thick meaty ribs. Therefore, your country style ribs might or might not have bones in them. Either way, they are a perfect choice for this delicious recipe.

Country Ribs and Sauerkraut
Country Ribs and Sauerkraut

How to Make Country Style Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

In a 3 ½ to 4-quart Slow Cooker combine sauerkraut and pork by layering in the slow cooker. This helps the flavors work together as they cook.

Turn on low and cook ribs and kraut for 8 hours. On high cook for 5 hours. However, I recommend low heat and slow. The longer cooking time suits this recipe well as the meat will still be juicy yet fork tender.  

Make this in the oven. Combine the sauerkraut and boneless ribs or bone-in ribs in a greased baking dish. Cover with heavy aluminum foil and bake at a low temperature. Preheated oven 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Make this in a pressure cooker or instant pot. For an even quicker version of this recipe, follow the directions of your machine. However, this is what works for me. Close lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 15-20 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release. After natural releasing for 10 minutes, carefully turn the Venting Knob to Venting Position to release the remaining pressure. Open the lid carefully.

A delicious way to enjoy Sunday Dinners, pork back ribs and kraut.

Storage and Freezing of this country style pork spare ribs

This will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

If you like to make freezer meals, add this recipe to your list. Once cooked, just package in a freezer safe container. It will last in the freezer for up to 6 months.

When you are ready to use, just thaw and reheat.

Hearty Meals pork sauerkraut and potatoes
Hearty Meals

What to Serve with This Delicious Pork Dinner?

This is an absolute comfort meal when paired with other simple sides. If you are looking for a hearty meal that fills up your family, then this country ribs recipe is a winner. Enjoy the meaty ribs, the tangy sauerkraut with easy side dish recipes. Try these sides for a complete easy meal.

Mashed potatoes or baby red potatoes seem to go together with this big time.

This Baked Cheesy Hash Browns Casserole Recipe is a creamy, cheesy potato side dish that is so easy to make and pairs well with the kraut and pork ribs.

Sometimes after a heavy and hearty meal, I want a light and refreshing dessert. This Swedish cream with berries dessert is just right.

Country Style Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut
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Country Style Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut

The recipe for Country Style Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut is a traditional German dish that will have your family coming back for seconds. This meal is perfect to serve on cold winter days when you want something hearty and satisfying.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Total Time8 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: 30 minute meal, comfort food, easter recipe, leftover pork recipe, slow cooker
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 231kcal

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Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 Pounds Country Style pork ribs
  • 32 Ounces Sauerkraut

Instructions

  • In a 3 ½ to 4-quart Slow Cooker combine sauerkraut and pork by layering in the slow cooker. This helps the flavors work together as they cook.
    3 to 4 Pounds Country Style pork ribs, 32 Ounces Sauerkraut
  • Turn on low and cook ribs and kraut for 8 hours. On high cook for 5 hours. However, I recommend low heat and slow. The longer cooking time suits this recipe well as the meat will still be juicy yet fork tender.

Your Own Private Notes

Notes

There is a Short Video on This Recipe

Slow cooker time and temperature.

8 – 10 hours on low, 5 hours on high.

Make this in the oven.

Cover with heavy aluminum foil and bake at a low temperature. Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Make this in a pressure cooker or instant pot.

For an even quicker version of this recipe, follow the directions of your machine. However, this is what works for me. Close lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 15-20 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release. After natural releasing for 10 minutes, carefully turn the Venting Knob to Venting Position to release the remaining pressure. Open the lid carefully.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 819mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3mg

What is the tradition of pork and sauerkraut?

The tradition of eating pork and sauerkraut, particularly on New Year’s Day, is a regional custom in some parts of the United States, particularly in Pennsylvania Dutch country and other areas with German-American heritage. This tradition is thought to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year.

The reasons behind this tradition are based on various factors, including:

Abundance and Prosperity

Pork represents progress and prosperity because pigs root forward when they eat. Eating pork on New Year’s Day is believed to symbolize moving forward and making progress in the coming year.

Sauerkraut’s Green Color

Sauerkraut is often associated with money and financial success because it’s green, similar to the color of U.S. currency. Eating sauerkraut is thought to bring financial good fortune.

Pennsylvania Dutch Influence

The tradition is especially strong in Pennsylvania Dutch culture, where it has been passed down for generations. This group of people has a strong German heritage, and sauerkraut and pork are common in German cuisine.

Longevity

In some cases, the long strands of sauerkraut are associated with long life and good health.

It’s important to note that this tradition is regional and not observed universally across the United States. Additionally, the beliefs and customs surrounding New Year’s food traditions can vary widely from one culture to another, with different regions having their own unique customs and symbolic foods.

Whether you believe in the luck and prosperity associated with this tradition or simply enjoy the flavors of pork and sauerkraut, it’s a fun and delicious way to celebrate the start of the new year in certain parts of the United States.

What meat goes with sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a traditional German dish made from fermented cabbage and has a strong, tangy flavor. It pairs well with a variety of meats, and the choice of meat often depends on personal preferences and regional variations. Here are some common meats that go well with sauerkraut:

Sausages. Sauerkraut and sausages, such as bratwurst, kielbasa, or frankfurters, are a classic combination. The rich, savory flavor of sausages complements the tanginess of the sauerkraut.

Pork. Pork dishes like pork chops, pork roast, or pork tenderloin work well with sauerkraut. The mild and slightly sweet taste of pork balances the acidity of the sauerkraut.

Ham. Smoked or roasted ham, especially with a sweet glaze, can be a delicious accompaniment to sauerkraut. The smokiness of the ham pairs nicely with the sauerkraut’s tang.

Corned Beef. Corned beef and sauerkraut is a classic combination, often served in Reuben sandwiches. The salty and savory flavor of corned beef complements the sourness of sauerkraut.

More Unique Pairings with Sauerkraut

Chicken. While less traditional, some people enjoy sauerkraut with chicken dishes. It can add a unique twist to your chicken recipe, and the sauerkraut’s acidity can help cut through the richness of the meat.

Turkey. Like chicken, turkey can also be paired with sauerkraut for a different flavor experience. It’s a less common combination but can be quite tasty.

Duck. If you’re looking for a more upscale pairing, duck and sauerkraut can work together, as the rich, gamey flavor of duck can complement the sauerkraut’s acidity.

Beef. While sauerkraut is not typically served with beef in traditional German cuisine, you can experiment with dishes like beef stew or pot roast to see if you enjoy the combination.

In addition to these meat options, sauerkraut is often accompanied by potatoes, caraway seeds, and various seasonings for a well-rounded meal. Ultimately, the choice of meat to pair with sauerkraut depends on your taste preferences and culinary creativity.

AboutVictoria

You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has cooked in restaurants for over 20 years, including many larger parties. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.

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