By Jordan Danz
I recently spent a weekend at my childhood home with my family. Even though I only live 5 hours away, this doesn’t happen often enough. Going home always brings out this nostalgia for the past, for life growing up in suburban Milwaukee. It is both wonderful and sad at the same time. Since I am in the process if planning a wedding, my mother and I spent a morning going through old pictures. I was looking for photos to create a slideshow to play at a pre-wedding party.
My parents keep all of their photos in a large metal box and trust me, nothing is organized. The box is filled with a jumble of pictures from the various stages of my parents’, siblings’ and extended families’ lives. It’s truly fascinating to see photos of your parents, aunts and uncles when they were your age. Seeing pictures from their wedding as I plan my own, brings everything full circle. It makes me feel lucky and full of joy to have grown up with such support and love. It takes time and a visit home to truly appreciate these things.
In honor of this new-found nostalgia I decided it would be fun to celebrate my German heritage and make a simple yet delicious German dish … Ribs and Kraut.
Ribs & Kraut
2 racks of ribs (cut into individual ribs)
4 lbs sauerkraut
1 onion sliced thin
2 lbs baby Yukon gold potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 beer (A Pilsner or cream ale; nothing too hoppy or bold. You can also substitute white wine.)
Salt and pepper
In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Toss the ribs in salt and pepper to season them. In batches, sear the ribs until they are golden brown. Set aside.
Add onion to pot with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until tender. Add 2 pounds of the sauerkraut (with juice) and cook for another 5 minutes. Layer ribs on top of sauerkraut and onions and add another pound of sauerkraut. Place potatoes on top of ribs and layer the last pound of sauerkraut on top of potatoes. Pour in the beer and bring everything to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 and a half to 3 hours. Pour everything out on a platter and enjoy!
Note that this recipe serves 6-8 people and can be cut in half easily.
Jordan is a home cook based in Minneapolis. He enjoys cooking, eating and spending time at his local food co-ops and farmers’ markets finding new flavors and ingredients to experiment with. His passion for fresh local ingredients inspires his belief that food has the power to bring people together.