Today’s Simple and Modest Meal Suggestion: Sauerkraut & Pork Spareribs

Last evening’s dinner. This one is a simple, no brainer that takes no more than 15 minutes prep time, if that. It’s the ultimate "fire & forget" comfort food.

You’ll need 2-3 pounds of pork spareribs, a couple pints or so of sauerkraut with the juice, a medium to large yellow onion (sliced into thinish wedges), 2-3 rounded tbsp of caraway seed and optionally, 1/2 cup of wine, chicken stock, or both (or water – if needed).

Now, you can merely put all this in the crock pot in the morning, set it on low and forget it. Add the wine, stock, water or combination until liquid is a couple inches from covering the contents. Optionally, if you’re home, get started about 1pm. Just put you ribs, meaty side down, in the crock pot on high, covered. This will brown it for you. At 3pm, add all the other stuff and the liquids, turn down to low and cover. Dinner’s ready around 7pm. Click on the image for hi-res.

Sauerkraut and Spareribs
Sauerkraut and Spareribs

This was a house staple growing up. Since then, I’ve made it many, many times with all manner of things like various sausages, polish, etc. Also, pork shoulder, legs, etc. In my opinion, nothing comes close to the spareribs. You could probably do back ribs but some, including myself, would consider that a waste of an obligatory BBQ cut.

Eat up.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Jeff on March 3, 2011 at 13:32

    Pork and cabbage…unbeatable combo in my books. And you get a good shit out of the deal too…LOL

    • keithallenlaw on March 3, 2011 at 17:38

      You too??? I love kraut but man does it liquefy my innards. I have to limit my servings. Now Kimchi on the other hand doesn’t effect me like that. Weird I’m telling you. So yeah, if I’m feeling consto from eating heavy on the beef and drinking coffee, kraut solves that problem real fast.

      Looking good Richard! I hope you ate some of that marrow from inside those ribs. I find myself doing that lately when I eat beef ribs. Instincts finally taking over?

  2. Joyful Fig on March 4, 2011 at 10:01

    OMG… this was a staple for me when I was growing up, too. Yummy with pork hocks, too. Fantastic pic — thanks for sharing, taking me down memory lane, and providing inspiration for the next time I crave ribs!

  3. dr. gabriella kadar on March 4, 2011 at 11:58

    Holy Hannah! That’s a LOT of sodium. What about the water retention this causes?

    Snoring? Acid reflux during sleep? Restless sleep? Puffy eyelids in the a.m.?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 4, 2011 at 12:01

      What do you mean a lot of sodium?

      • Sean on March 5, 2011 at 00:01

        Sodium!! Sodium, Richard!!! Dogs and cats living together. Somalia. Paris Hilton and Charlie Sheen. Total chaos. You must stop before your bloated eyelids and extremities horrifically explode. Think of the children, Richard, think of the children.

  4. PK on March 4, 2011 at 17:22

    I looked up this book in my local library and was pleasantly surprised that for 2 copies, I was 8th in line to waitlist for it. My library system serves two fairly large towns in LA county, but I was still shocked given I’m in the land of politically correct vegetarians (only one farmer’s market in dozens around my area carries grass fed meat). Hopefully the word is spreading further than I thought!

  5. Dimitris on March 4, 2011 at 23:02

    Keep it coming Richard

  6. Sean on March 4, 2011 at 23:54

    The caraway seeds seem to be a real Central Europe thing. I barely knew what they were before I came here.

    I don’t mind them, especially in neutral comfort dishes like this, which is what Germans and Slavs are famous for. And I didn’t mind them on the bread, back when I ate bread. But they do drive some people craaaaazy.

  7. Michal on March 5, 2011 at 12:33

    This is very similar to polish bigos. Kwasniewski has a recipe for it in his book. Good stuff, I really like to make it with pork as well.

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