Spare Ribs, Cabbage, and Sauerkraut

Delicious pork spare ribs slow cooked with cabbage and sauerkraut, and braised in beer.

Spare Ribs Cabbage Sauerkraut
Elise Bauer

Leave it to my Germanic father to find yet another twist on pork and sauerkraut.

Yes, we already have a perfectly good recipe for spare ribs and sauerkraut which we've been making for years.

No, that's not enough to deter the siren call of something potentially even better.

Dad found a recipe for spare ribs in The Niman Ranch Cookbook to which he incorporated a completely different way of cooking the sauerkraut, one that includes slow cooking cabbage and sauerkraut together with beer.

Okay, spare ribs, cabbage, sauerkraut, and now beer? No wonder he loves this recipe. It does take twice as long to make as our other recipe. But it really is amazingly good, and so worth it if you can make the time.

Spare Ribs, Cabbage, and Sauerkraut

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Spare ribs chilling 23 hrs
Total Time 27 hrs 10 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings


  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds pork spare ribs, bone-in
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 Tbsp cracked black pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 32-ounce jar of sauerkraut, drained
  • 4 cups thinly shredded cabbage (about 1 medium head)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bottle of your favorite beer
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds


  1. Rub the spare ribs with spices, and chill:

    Rub the ribs with garlic, caraway seeds, and cracked black pepper. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours (if you have time, otherwise skip).

  2. Roast the spare ribs:

    Heat oven to 400°F. Unwrap spare ribs from plastic wrap. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap the ribs with aluminum foil and place them on a roasting pan. Roast at 400°F for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

  3. Bake the sauerkraut:

    Place sauerkraut, onion, caraway seed, brown sugar, and cabbage in a Dutch oven. Stir in beer, water, and chicken stock. Add pepper to taste. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake the sauerkraut cabbage mixture, covered, for 3 hours.

  4. Add ribs to sauerkraut, bake one more hour:

    Lower the oven temperature to 325°F. Place ribs over sauerkraut, cover, and cook for an additional hour. Add more liquid if needed.

    Serve the ribs with the sauerkraut. Good with boiled potatoes.