Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut

Did you know that eating pork on New Year's Day is said to bring you good fortune in the upcoming year? It's true! Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut is the perfect dish to ring in the New Year with!

This country style ribs recipe is a delicious way to ensure that good fortune finds you this year! Country style pork ribs are seasoned, seared, and then slow baked with sauerkraut and apples until they are fork tender for a delicious pork dinner for not only on New Year's Day, but any day of the year.

Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut by Renee's Kitchen Adventures on a plate ready to eat served with mashed potatoes and green beans

I've partnered with my friends at OhioPork.org to create this delicious recipe and blog post for you. All opinions are my own.

What are Country Style Ribs?


When my friends at OhioPork.org asked me to create a delicious pork dish to ring in the new year, I wanted to go outside my comfort zone and create something using a cut of pork that was new to me.

I decided to give country pork ribs a try!

Sure, I've seen them in the meat case, but I never really understood how they were ribs. I mean, I have made pork ribs plenty of times, but country style ribs looked a lot different than the other pork ribs in the meat case. And here's why: It turns out there are 4 different types of pork rib varieties available in most grocery stores. 

  1. Baby Back Ribs - These ribs come from high up on the back of the pig, right next to the loin area. They are sometimes called loin back or just back ribs. They are the most popular cut of pork ribs because they are quite lean and very meaty. They're perfect for this Fall off the Bone Slow Cooker Ribs recipe and they are the variety I cook most often for my family.
  2. Pork Spare Ribs - These ribs are located much lower on the pig, near the belly. They are quite large and have a larger proportion of fat to lean than Baby Back Ribs. They are also generally less expensive than Baby Back Ribs. 
  3. St. Louis Style Ribs - St. Louis Style ribs are actually just Pork Spare Ribs that have been further trimmed. With these ribs, the brisket bone, sternum and the flap of meat that hangs over the last rib on the rack are removed and they are cut square. This makes them more manageable to eat than a whole rack of pork spare ribs.
  4. Country Style Ribs  - Country Style Ribs are cut from the area near the front of the pig, by the shoulder. They have more meat than bone and generally need to be cooked low and slow for best results. You can find them with the bone in and boneless. The meat is more similar to a shoulder cut than a rib cut, in my opinion. It's tender, flavorful, and falls right off the bone when cooked properly. You'll want it to fall off the bone because these ribs are best eaten with a knife and a fork, rather than in hand. 
Country Style Ribs, raw, on cutting board

Pork and Apples


If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I love pairing pork with apples! There is just something about pork and apples. Maybe it's my midwest roots that makes the combination so appealing to me.

Growing up in my family, a pork chop was never served without a side of applesauce. My mom would regularly serve pork roast and sauerkraut for Sunday dinners, and alongside?

You guessed it, applesauce. Always applesauce.

It was almost more of a condiment FOR the pork, than a side dish TO the pork.

So, naturally, adding apples to this country style rib recipe seemed like the thing to do since I was trying to create a baked comfort food dish. You know, a fall off the bone, saucy and familiar type of pork recipe.


Pork and Sauerkraut


If it's my midwest roots that lead me to adding apples to this country style ribs recipe, it's my Eastern European heritage that made me want to add sauerkraut to the dish. Since country ribs are best cooked by slow braising until they are fork tender, they scream comfort food to me. And dishes with sauerkraut have always been near the top of my favorite comfort foods. The salty and tangy bite of sauerkraut works so well with the hearty ribs in this dish. 


Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut by Renee's Kitchen Adventures plated in a white bowl garnished with fresh thyme, ready to serve


Cooking Country Style Ribs


The best way to cook country style ribs to do it low and slow. That means a lower oven temperature than what you might normally cook pork in and a longer cooking time. Utilizing the braising method of cooking suites these ribs the best! 

Braising usually involves searing the meat on high heat in oil, then cooking it in a slow oven in a small amount of liquid. This method tends to tenderize the meat, yet allow it to retain it's natural flavors. So you end up with delicious meat that cooked another way, might be too tough to eat. Pot Roasts are a well known example of meat that is cooked by braising. 

In this recipe, the country ribs are seasoned and seared in oil. Then they are transferred to a roasting pan with apples, sauerkraut, and onion and a small amount of apple cider is poured over them. They are then covered and baked at 325 degrees F until fork tender. That takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

Can I make this country ribs recipe in a slow cooker? 


You can make this country style ribs recipe in the oven or in the slow cooker. If you choose to make it in a slow cooker, after searing the ribs, place them in the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients as written in the recipe card below and cover. Cook on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours or on LOW for 8 hours or until the pork ribs are fork tender. 

How to make Country Style Ribs in the Oven


The first thing you'll need to do is purchase a package of country style pork ribs from your grocers. I find that this cut of pork often goes on sale and is quite easy on the wallet. For this recipe, I like to use bone in ribs, not boneless. So look for meaty ribs that are still on the bone.

The bones will add flavor and the meat is cooked so tender, it will just fall away from the bones when cooked.

The next step to making this recipe for baked country style pork ribs is to gather up all the ingredients you'll need.

  • 3 to 4 pound package of bone in, country style ribs
  • kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • granulated garlic
  • smoked paprika
  • vegetable oil, for browning
  • 2 medium sized apples
  • 32 oz. jar of sauerkraut with caraway seeds
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • apple cider
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine seasonings in a small bowl and liberally coat the ribs with the seasoning mixture.

Seasoning mixture for Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut by Renee's Kitchen Adventures in small bowl with raw ribs in background ready to be seasoned

Heat large skillet on medium high (or if your roasting pan is like mine and can be used on the stove top, you can use that to sear the pork.) and add oil. When oil is shimmering, add ribs (don't overcrowd, work in batches if you need to) and brown on all sides.

Once the ribs are browned, place them single layer in the roasting pan.

Seared Country Style Ribs ready for toppings in roasting pan

Sprinkle chopped onions and apples evenly over the seared pork ribs.

Chopped Apples and onions on seared country style ribs in roasting pan

Next place drained sauerkraut evenly over the apples and onions, and pour apple cider onto the sauerkraut. Cover, and bake in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the ribs are fork tender!

Serve the country ribs with the sauerkraut. I love to serve garlic parmesan mashed potatoes with this rib recipe, as well as a good green bean recipe!

This country pork ribs recipe is a nice departure from the country rib recipes with BBQ seasonings you'll find abundant on the web. The pork is fork tender, moist, and melt in your mouth delicious. It's home cooking at it's finest!

Overhead view of one serving of Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut by Renee's Kitchen Adventures with mashed potatoes and green beans on a white plate

So ring in the new year with this delicious pork comfort food dish and ensure good fortune in 2020! Happy New Year!




Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut, Country Style Ribs, Country Ribs, Country Style ribs in oven, gluten free
Main Course, Pork
American
Yield: 8 servings
Author:

Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut

Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut

prep time: 15 Mcook time: 2 Mtotal time: 17 M
Country Style Ribs are seasoned, seared, and then slow baked with sauerkraut and apples until they are fork tender for a delicious pork dinner for not only on New Year's Day, but any day of the year.

ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 pounds Country Style pork ribs, bone-in
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper 
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika 
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil (for browning)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 32 oz jar sauerkraut with caraway seeds, drained
  • 3/4 cup apple cider 

instructions:

How to cook Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Remove ribs from packaging and blot dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and smoked paprika. 
  4. Liberally season ribs with combined spices. 
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over med high heat, until oil begins to shimmer. Add seasoned ribs (in batches if needed) and brown on all sides. Remove ribs as they are done and lay in a single layer in a roasting pan. (You can use a 9 x 13" pan if ribs fit, but a roasting pan is better.) 
  6. Top ribs with onions and apples and spread evenly over the ribs. Top sauerkraut, also spreading evenly. 
  7. Pour cider over the top. 
  8. Cover and bake in oven, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the ribs are fork tender. 

NOTES:

You may be able to find boneless country style ribs at your grocers. I have not tested this recipe with the boneless ribs, so I don't know if it would produce the same outcome. If you are making this recipe, I would stick with the bone IN country style ribs to ensure success.
Calories
638.79
Fat (grams)
40.12
Sat. Fat (grams)
13.38
Carbs (grams)
17.66
Fiber (grams)
5.12
Net carbs
12.55
Sugar (grams)
11.10
Protein (grams)
54.09
Sodium (milligrams)
1329.75
Cholesterol (grams)
190.51
Nutritional Information provided is an estimate.

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Interested in learning more about the pork industry? Check out my recap of a Visit to a real working Ohio Hog farm.

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