Sauerkraut and Spareribs (Recipe Swap: What’s in Your Crockpot?)

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Sauerkraut and Pork in the Crockpot

One thing that’s true about the approach of fall is that the days get busy. And dinner is the last thing you want to think about in between carpools, homework, and soccer practice. That is where one of my best friends can save the day.

Remember the handy dandy crockpot?

Well, bust it out, ladies, ’cause busy days are here again. And your slow cooker could save you from one more Big Mac.

Here is an oft-requested recipe at our house. Yes, I know it’s a little wierd. But, you knew that about us already. For the record, FishPapa does not care for it. He would never claim it as a family favorite.

We still laugh over the first time my brother-in-law was treated to this dish. Janel and Brett were very newly engaged, and my sister was teaching him the “right way” to eat it (potatoes chopped, lots of juice, etc.) At the end, she lifted her plate and slurped the juices!

Yes, we’re also amazed that he still married her. But, this dish is good enough to lick the plate clean, and I must confess, I’ve done just that. We did that all the time growing up!

The FishKids are now the third generation to fall in love with this dish. It’s plain, hearty peasant food. My granny probably made it in a dutch oven. Nanna uses a pressure cooker.

For years I only got to taste this home treat when Mom visited because I am too timid to try using the pressure cooker without her. No way do I want to scrape sauerkraut off my cottage-cheese ceiling! But, last winter I tried it in the crockpot with great success.

Ultimate Recipe Swap
What’s your family’s favorite meal to make in the crockpot? Share it on your blog, link to this post, and come back to link your post here.

OR, feel free to share it in the comments. Either way, I can’t wait to see what plate-licking delicacy is in my future!

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. I love being able to throw a meal into a crock pot and forget about it for the rest of the day. I can’t wait to read everyone else’s recipes.

  2. supermommy says:

    I love my crockpot! Especially in the fall and winter months when I’m in school at night.

  3. AHighandNobleCalling says:

    Unfortunately my honey balks at anything that comes from a crockpot. I know, poor me, eh?

  4. Zimms Zoo says:

    It is my favorite tool!

  5. JessieLeigh says:

    This is definitely not a favorite of mine, but it’s very popular in this neck of the woods (and a real hit with my two toddlers!)–
    barbecue hotdogs in the crockpot. It is just as it sounds- cut up dogs, with a little water and a bunch of barbecue sauce, simmered on low for a few hours.

    We didn’t see much of this where I grew up in New England, but here in farm country, Indiana, it seems to be a pot-luck staple! I am endlessly fascinated by the regional differences in food… I feel blessed to have moved a lot and experienced so much (good and bad)!

  6. Baca's of Bend says:

    Every month (usually mid month) we have a lean week so I make sure to have a few meals worth of food in the freezer. This helps us stretch our cash until payday.
    Here is what I put in the crock pot today!
    Browned seasoned ground beef
    Layered sliced potatoes and onion.
    sprinkle of cheese between a few layers.
    I mixed 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, splash of milk and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard with a can of cream of mushroom soup.
    Topped the whole thing with the sauce and put on low.
    I make rolls and freeze monthly so I will serve this casserole with rolls and a salad.

  7. Org Junkie says:

    Hi Jessica, I linked to an old post of mine where I shared my beef stew recipe. Hope that was okay. It really is a delicious recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

  8. FishMama says:

    These are some great ideas! Thanks everybody!

  9. Tiffany says:

    I just wanted to include my absolute favorite crock pot beef stew recipe. A co-worker gave me this recipe years ago and it is a family favorite and a favorite to bring to friends needing meals. It’s very simple and VERY yummy!

    Crock Pot Stew

    1 – 2 lbs stew beef
    carrots (3 or 4 large or 1/2 bag baby carrots)
    Potatoes (about 3 medium)
    2 beef bouillon cubes (or 2 t.)
    1 can condensed tomato soup
    1 can condensed french onion soup (Campbell’s)

    Put cut-up carrots and potatoes in crock pot and then meat on top. Cover with two soups and add bouillon.

    Cook on low for 6-8 hours for 1 lb. beef or 8-10 hours for 2 lbs.

  10. Andrea says:

    LOVE my crock pot. . .almost as much as I love my PC round stone. As a working mom, a slow cooker is an invaluable tool.

    Thanks for the challenge!

    Andrea in NC

  11. Mollie says:

    This recipe cracks me up! My hubby would eat anything in the entire world if he could put Lawry's on it. He thinks it's God's greatest invention!!

  12. You should add this recipe (and any other German recipes!) to my “Taste the World” theme that happens every Friday! Right now I’m compiling a list of German foods as this month I’m cooking up German food! Stop by and add this in!

  13. I love sauerkraut. It’s the bees knees in this house.

  14. Why do you not simply slice the potatoes and cook them in the pot with the meat and kraut? That’s probably how I would do it. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed things like this growing up, my son inherited a paternal grandmother’s dislike for anything tart and vinegary. My father is the complete opposite end of the spectrum, and I am my father’s daughter, so it makes for challenging compromises. Some things I make him endure, but I know this really wouldn’t go over well. Maybe I can bribe him with pizza the next night. hmmm.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      That’s a really good question. I have no idea. I’ll have to ask my mom. We’ve always boiled the potatoes separately.

  15. Our biggest go-to crock pot recipe that feeds us 2 meals, and sometimes lunches if I prepare sides to go with it: Tex Mex Slow Cooker Chicken (from Cozi) layer chicken breasts, taco seasoning, green chilis, fire-roasted tomatoes, corn, black/pinto/red beans (a can of each), more taco seasoning. Cook it to death and it will shred apart. Taste great on tortillas, scoop with chips, use on bread. Freezes great. Your recipe looks great—but the salt content in that would kill me. Maybe in the future. 🙂

  16. Nancy says:

    I know this is an old post, but I just read it today. Just wanted to say that my mother made a very similar dish when I was growing up but she used hot dog wieners instead of the pork ribs. Cut the wieners into strips, fry in a pan then add the sauerkraut and cook on the stovetop until desired consistency. Also, the potatoes you mentioned are cooked separately so they do not absorb too much of the vinegar from the kraut. It balances the flavor of the dish better that way.

  17. The pork and sauerkraut sounds delicious. What do you consider a “large” can of sauerkraut? I have a slow cooker and I have a pressure cooker, but nine times out of 10 I’ll make something like this in a Dutch oven in the oven. I also usually make mashed potatoes with a dish like this. if I need another vegetable, it’s green beans. And there’s almost always applesauce on the table, too.

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