Spare Ribs and Sauerkraut in Scotch Ale

Mom’s Spare Ribs and Sauerkraut With a Scottish Kick

Spare ribs and sauerkraut make me think of my mom, Dorothy Wright. Her recipe – with my Scotch Ale twist – is a definite comfort food.

I very seldom use a recipe, or I start with a recipe and soon make it my own with additions and changes. All amounts will be approximate. Taste as you cook and decide what you like.

Start with pork spare ribs. I used to use the country-style bone in ribs but now use the boneless style which have less fat and waste. Salt and pepper the meat and brown in olive oil until both sides have a nice crust. If you make more than what will fit in the frying pan, use Scotch or Brown Ale to deglaze the pan. I use Bertam’s Salmon Valley Brewery’s Danny’s Smokey McBeer Scotch Ale.

To deglaze the pan: remove the meat and put in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Keep the frying pan on a hot burner and add enough beer to cover the bottom of the pan and up the sides slightly. Allow the beer to boil until the crusty bits on the bottom of the pan are loosened and the liquid is reduced by half. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom and add all to the Dutch oven. Repeat if you have more meat.

Brown the sauerkraut using the same pan as the meat. I love to use my friends’ homemade sauerkraut. DeWayne Deaver made this batch and it was wonderful. Jeff Knudson also makes a mean sauerkraut that I have used in the past. Once the sauerkraut is well browned, add it to the pot with the meat and deglaze the browning pan again using beer.

When all of the meat, sauerkraut and deglazing liquid are in the pot, add chopped onion, a bay leaf and  1 – 2 tsp caraway seed. Cover the pot and simmer for at least three hours. Check the pot periodically and add water as needed so that all ingredients are touching liquid. Taste for salt and add as needed.

Clean and chop potatoes and add to the pot. Add more water to ensure that all ingredients are touching liquid. Stir so that potatoes are incorporated into the mixture. Bring back to a simmer and cook for another half hour or until the potatoes are fork tender. You have just made a delicious pot of spare ribs and sauerkraut.

Plate meat and potatoes and dish sauerkraut over the potatoes – I mash mine first. Add juice. Serve with Scotch or Brown ale and a crusty bread. Enjoy!

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