#1 of 2011

 Tonight’s dinner ranks as #1 dinner of 2011 thus far.

Yep, #1.

And it took me by total surprise!

Seriously, from the looks of it you would never believe it either… but boy oh boy, looks can be deceiving!  Trust me, you’ll see.

In an attempt to clean out the goods we have in our kitchen, I came up with yet another 5 ingredient recipe.

Albeit a little less conventional than the coconut curry chicken from this weekend, if that even makes sense?

Leftover from Christmas Eve dinner was a lonely can of sauerkraut…

What to do, what to do?

Well, I decided to throw together this blend of flavors and see how it turned out!

  • (1) 1 onion, sliced thin
  • (2) 1 lb. boneless pork ribs
  • (3) 1 apple, thinly sliced & chopped
  • (4) 1 can Bavarian style sauerkraut, drained
  • (5) 1 bottle Yuengling Lager
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tblsp sugar
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste

Sometimes you just have to go for it and hope for the best :P

I had never cooked with boneless pork ribs before a few weeks ago, but I’ll tell you that they are a great cut of meat for cooking low and slow and also very economical even from Whole Foods.

Good food on a budget :)

Sliced onion.

Boneless pork ribs, chopped into 1″ cubes.

Cooked over medium high heat in 1 tblsp olive oil for about 10 minutes or until the onions turn glossy & golden.

Season with sea salt & black pepper too.

In goes the apple, unpeeled and sliced into thin & small pieces.

Then the can of sauerkraut – drained.

This is actually Bavarian style sauerkraut which has been seasoned with caraway seeds and (yikes!) corn syrup.  Ooops ;)

Can’t win ‘em all.  And can’t say this doesn’t taste good!

If you don’t have Bavarian style sauerkraut then you’ll need to add more sugar plus caraway seeds to this dish.

Then a bottle of beer.  Lager to be exact.  Plus the sugar.

Drunken ‘kraut.

Those words just sing to me.

Perhaps it’s the Polish in me :P

After a good stir, cover and let simmer over low for another hour and a half.  Stir every half hour or so to make sure the liquid doesn’t get too low.

It may seem like a long time, but if you throw this on the stove right after work it will be the easiest thing ever.  And who doesn’t have time for a few minutes of stirring?

After the time is up you will have a pretty colorless pot of food.  Don’t let that deter you however, please don’t at all.

In such a short period of time the pork becomes fall apart tender, I’m talking no knife required.

Perhaps it’s the acidity of the sauerkraut or maybe the apple, or perhaps even the beer, but something(s) worked it’s magic – hey, I’m no scientist ;)

The flavor of this dish was spot on – not like anything I’ve ever tasted but SO very delicious.

Served atop some cheesy mashed potatoes I had stashed in the freezer (these were actually leftover pierogi filling from this adventure, I mean, do I think I’m living during the Great Depression? I swear I don’t throw anything away haha).

Yum. Yum. Yum.

The cheesy potatoes soaked up all the glorious beer infused sauce – I can’t even explain how good this was!

And with temperatures well below freezing here in Virginia (not for long though!) this meal definitely warmed me up from the inside out.

Like I said, we’re not talking pretty, colorful food here (hey, a garden salad on the side will fix that real quick!) but we are talking major MAJOR flavor.

Tangy onions & ‘kraut, sweet sugar & apples, fall apart tender pork plus a light hint of beer.  Oh-em-gee.

I may or may not have called Fanatic Mom while I was eating it to tell her how surprised I was with this dish and talked about it for 5 minutes straight, why does she put up with me? – she can attest to that.

And by the way, I’ve already decided that this will be the dinner to celebrate my belated birthday when my Uncle comes in town (if you’re reading Uncle Donnie, here’s a sneak peak!)…

I have problems – who plans meals 2 weeks in advance?

Me.

Oh yea, what birthday?

This girl’s last birthday in her 20’s falls the day after tomorrow *gasp* can’t even believe it! 

And Fanatic Dad’s birthday is tomorrow :)

We have a lil’ something up our sleeves to celebrate later this week too — so stay tuned!

Okay I better stop talking/thinking about/eating this ‘kraut dish and go watch The Bachelor already, have a great night!

11 responses to “#1 of 2011

  1. This sounds fantastic! I love pork and sauerkraut. I bet the apples provide the most lovely sweetness, too!

  2. I’m Czech and could definitely eat sauerkraut all the time! This meal looks so creative and easy! :)

  3. I love recipes with a short ingredient list that taste amazing!!

    And, I haven’t had sauerkraut in way too long. I need to fix that asap.

    Here’s to us getting some warmer weather tomorrow. I’m sick of it being so cold!

  4. Happy almost birthday!!!!!!! How fun! Glad the dinner turned out well. Looks like a mini Oktoberfest! To be honest- I’ve never tried sauerkraut- it scares me! I think its about time I give it a go.

  5. You are so, so creative! I’m not a sauerkraut fan (I know….AND I’m German!), but it looks SO easy to make. I love meals with less than 10 ingredients – they’re my fave. :-)

    I love that your birthday and your dad’s are a day apart….it makes for an exciting January!!

  6. this looks like something that my grandparents made on new years when i was a kid… and looks amazing too…. i’ve never been able to make anything close to it so will definitely have to try it!

    Happy early birthday too!!!

  7. I love surprise meals like that! Looks great! And I can’t wait to have regular access to Yuengling haha.

  8. My Dad’s birthday (and my nephew’s) is the same week as mine too! And also coming up! hehe It’ll be my quarter centruy mark ;)

    I bet this was great. I thought I HATED sauerkraut but we had an Oktoberfest (the man’s idea, he’s somewhat German, I had no clue what I was doing) and everything was SUPERB but we made potato and sauerkraut bites. OHHH lordy were they amazing which surprised the heck out of me! Sometimes it dosen’t have to look so gorgous to taste so amazing.

    Uhm mac n’ cheese is all one color, I’m just saying!

  9. This looks so good! My fiance’s mom makes something similar with just pork & regular sauerkraut but apples & beer sound like great additions. You think it would work in a crockpot?

    • Yes, I absolutely think it would work in a crockpot! Funny you ask because I was actually going to do that but didn’t get the pork defrosted in time to put into the crockpot that morning – typical :) I would just reduce the amount of liquid you use so you don’t end up with soup, maybe only 1/4 to 1/2 of the beer?

  10. Good thinking, I forget you can use less liquid in a crockpot. I might have to try this over the weekend :)

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