Pennsylvania Dutch Pork Ribs – This recipe for braised country style pork ribs with sauerkraut and apples is without a doubt a close cousin to French Choucroute Garnie.
During the summer, the country ribs are bathed in tangy barbecue sauce and served over spicy saffron rice or pilaf but when the temperatures dip, I prepare this version of the dish. The ribs are paired with tart apples, sauerkraut and steamed potatoes.
A quick confession – I will admit to cutting back on the typical quantity of meats in the authentic version of this dish (by not adding sausages) and by braising them in white wine. Shhh….
Let’s just call it fusion cuisine.
Another confession to make. I normally prepare this recipe with country style ribs but tonight, I am bending the rules and using small boneless top loin roasts. Let’s pretend this is a boneless pork ribs recipe.
While checking out the meat counter, there were only two small packs of country ribs – barely a serving each and likely to shrink to a few bites. I opted for two small boneless top loin roasts. Together, they cost less than $7.00 and weighed 2.25 pounds. Boneless top loin is much leaner so it will take a little longer to braise them to fork tenderness.
Dad was right all those years ago to say that many Pennsylvania Dutch recipes would remind us of home – both France and Germany.
Not only did my French grandmother and great-grandmother prepare this type of dish but Choucroute Garnie is a regional specialty very familiar to us.
We hail from an area not far from l’Alsace but Great-grandpa served in the Alsace Lorraine region during World War I and came to love the food.
Needless to say, Alsace was German at one time but it behooved us all not to remind him of that fact! That’s just one of the causes he fought for dating back to the 1890s. La Revanche was a touchy subject.
A soldier since the age of 18 and always proud to wear his uniform, in this photo he is standing with members of his host family during the First World War time frame. He re-enlisted for World War II and served as an aircraft spotter. But I digress…that’s another story.
Just goes to show that there are truly 6 degrees of separation in this family (both his sons would marry Germans ❤️ ) – and that it is a small world.
This dish calls for hard cider or, if nobody needs to get behind the wheel – a nice white Chardonnay or red Beaujolais wine. Beer is perfect with the barbecued summer version of this dish!
If you have ever traveled across or lived in central Pennsylvania and the Big Valley area, you know there are some mighty fine butchers throughout the Kish Valley!
1 Cook, 2 Countries & A Taste For World Cuisines: A La Mode De Chez Nous – Cuisine d’Hier Et d’Aujourd’hui! For the love of home style cooking and great food. Memories are made of this!
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