Spare Ribs & SaurKraut

This is an old family favorite from my mother, but she would do hers on the stovetop for special occasions and top it all off with dumplings once the spare ribs & kraut were removed ... she saved it for occasions in the winter as much as possible so the steam would help heat the house.

I did a version using the crock pot and a fry pan.
Spare Ribs & Saurkraut -- 4th gen American Style
1 slab of spare ribs, cut into 1 or 2 rib sections (hopefully they will be more meat than fat)
1 T Old Bay
2 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp Garlic Garni
2 large, or 4 small whole bay leafs
1 cup water
1 jar saurkraut (bagged kind can work too)
2 tsp caraway seed
1/2 stick butter

put rib sections into a gallon sized bag and add the Old Bay, Lemon pepper, Garlic Garni, and shake well to mix up and coat all peices, squeezing bag to work spices into meat.  Place half of bay leaves on bottom of crock pot, put in the ribs, top with last half of bay leaves.  carefully pour water into crock so that it doesn't knock the spices off the meat.
Cook on low for 6 hours.

Dzia Dzia John's Favorite Kraut

Open the kraut and drain off the brine (reserve it to add to the ribs above if you wish, it will help to tenderize the meat - my kids don't like it, but hubby & I sure do).
Rinse the kraut under cool water to rid any extra brine and squeeze the water out very well without bruising the kraut.  You can do this by hand or put a plate on top of the kraut in its strainer with a can placed on top for a few hours -- nice if you have the time.
Heat a cast iron or heavy fry pan (you need the heat), melt the butter swirling it to coat the bottom of pan - use a pan that is large enough so the kraut is no more than 1" deep. 

Now there is two way of doing this:
#1 - put the caraway into the butter and let it 'bloom' for a few seconds to release the oils ... some people (cough, cough, hubby) find this too strong ... add the kraut on top, stir to incorporate the seeds throughout the kraut.
#2 - put the kraut in the pan and then add the caraway, stir to spread evenly.

reduce heat to medium and let the kraut sit for 5 minutes - you will be tempted but don't stir it, you want a nice browning.  use your turner to flip the kraut in small sections and brown the other side the same way.

Follow Up:
well it tastes very different without the brine in the pot, and the ribs I had were rather meatless ... but they were sooooooo tender that I swear you could have eaten the bone (ha ha) ... 3 out of my 4 kids absolutely love the kraut made this way - in fact its the only way they will eat it! 

I served it with mashed potatoes for my one child who simply hates kraut in any form.

here -- try some good Polish food for supper this weekend!  You'll love it!
Now from here its the same:

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