Aunt Norma’s Sauerkraut and Pork
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© Paden Reich
If you haven’t figured it out yet, my version of home cooking is all about family, both pleasing those at the table and drawing inspiration from those who came before me. The secret ingredient is always love, and so it is here. Aunt Norma was my father’s youngest sister. When I was a little girl, she was always in the kitchen with my mom. The two of them worked and talked with an intuitive sync, and it was fun to watch them. These were women who really knew how to cook. My aunt gave this recipe to my mom, and though I don’t recall her making it that often, I put my own stamp on this by adding fennel, which I love, and some additional seasoning. The apples melt into the vegetable mix and give it body and sweetness. This is a time-saver whether you use the slow cooker to make it in the morning or just reheat and serve over steamed rice.
1. Combine the sauerkraut, apple wedges, onion slices, fennel slices, water, vinegar, mustard, fennel seeds, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper in a 5-quart slow cooker.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle the pork evenly with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
3. Add half of the pork ribs to the skillet; cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Repeat the process with the remaining pork ribs.
4. Place the pork ribs on top of the sauerkraut mixture in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until the apples and pork are tender, about 8 hours.
5. Remove the pork from the slow cooker, and shred into large pieces. Serve the pork over the sauerkraut mixture; garnish with the chopped parsley.
Sauerkraut is so good for your gut—all those wonderful natural probiotics. This is a terrific dish to make over the weekend and refrigerate until you need a quick weeknight meal on the table—
you can make it up to a week ahead.
1 (16-ounce) package refrigerated sauerkraut, drained
3 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch wedges
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced fennel bulb
1 cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Hands on time
8 Hours, 30 Minutes