This easy recipe for German Red Cabbage and Pork Ribs is a delicious “all in one” meal that virtually cooks itself.
The recipe combines my German Red Cabbage Recipe with Pork Ribs… the only difference is that in this recipe I use apple juice instead of water and add apples to enhance the flavors….a very easy recipe and fool-proof.
I like to buy the individual servings of applesauce…. It’s great for use in recipes .. since most recipes don’t require much … it’s also good because it’s just the two of us… when I was using the jars of applesauce, I always ended up throwing out a considerable amount left in the jar since it was just two much for two.
Make sure to use natural or original applesauce for this recipe.. not the kind with cinnamon.
Apple cider vinegar is an important ingredient.. while plain vinegar can be substituted.. I don’t recommend it… cider vinegar really adds flavor.
I use Granny Smith apples for this recipe… make sure they are peeled… I peel them and cut them into thick wedges… they essentially disappear during cooking…. they just dissolve.
If you want them still to be there when you serve them, you can add them late in the cooking… put them in about an hour before the end of cooking.
Because the apples “draw” liquid… there can be a lot of liquid at the end of cooking.. it’s really not a problem… just remove the contents of the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.
I like to serve this with Spaetzle or German Potato Pancakes… you could also serve this with noodles or mashed potatoes.
I sometimes reserve some of the pan drippings (after making the bacon and searing the meat)….. and I make pork gravy to drizzle over the meat and spaetzle.
To make gravy: Just heat about 2-3 tablespoons of the mixed drippings in a sauce pan and add 2 tablespoons flour… mix well… cook for about 3 minutes to cook off the flour taste…. In a measuring cup combine 1 tablespoon flour… add ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth … whisk until smooth… add it to the saucepan, whisking constantly. When it’s smooth and no lumps.. slowly add ¾ cup more broth.. whisk until smooth and thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
If you don’t have enough drippings (you should) but if you don’t.. add melted butter to the drippings to make up the shortage.
Because of the slow cooking, meat becomes so tender and infused with all the flavors… a totally delicious meal!
Recipe: Crock Pot German Red Cabbage and Pork Ribs
All you need:
4 slices thick sliced bacon
6 country style pork ribs
1 small/medium head of red cabbage, thinly shredded
1 medium onion, sliced
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup apple juice
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced *See TIPS
3 tablespoons sugar
A pinch of ground cloves
Salt to taste
All you have to do:
In a large skillet, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until a good bit of the bacon grease has been rendered… stirring frequently… make sure the bacon remains soft not crisp.
Remove all but about 2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease.
Sprinkle the pork ribs with salt and pepper. Add the pork ribs to the skillet and quickly sear the meat on all sides over medium high heat. Remove the ribs from the skillet and place them on the bottom of the crock pot.
Meanwhile, In a large bowl toss the red cabbage, onions and apples to mix thoroughly. When the pork ribs are in the slow cooker, put the cabbage mixture on top of the ribs in the slow cooker.
Add the cider vinegar, apple juice, sugar, and ground cloves to the skillet you seared the pork ribs in, heat to boiling. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the mixture over the red cabbage in the slow cooker. Use a spatula to get the last bit of the mixture out of the skillet.
Cook on low for 5 hours.
Remove the red cabbage and ribs with a slotted spoon and salt the cabbage to taste.
Serve with Spaetzle, German Potato Pancakes, noodles or mashed potatoes (whatever you prefer).