Pre-cooked ribs make for a midweek treat with sauerkraut slaw

Try some sauerkraut from the supermarket before taking the leap to make your own

Pork ribs with crushed potatoes and apple sauerkraut slaw

Pork ribs with crushed potatoes and apple sauerkraut slaw

 

For this week’s column, I’m using pre-cooked ribs. I rarely buy meat that’s already cooked but now there are so many versions of these slow-cooked Irish pork ribs available, and it’s a real midweek treat. My kids love ribs, they’re messy, delicious and so sociable. I always have little finger bowls of lemon water and napkins on the table, it really adds to the occasion.

If the ribs come with a marinade or glaze that you don’t like, then discard it and use apple juice instead. I think the pork has enough flavour and often those sachets of sauce are just a dizzying list of sugars and flavourings. The natural sweetness of apple juice does the job perfectly well. I’ve also used seasonal apples in the slaw for crunch and flavour.

I love using sauerkraut for salads like this. It’s so handy to have in the fridge. Not only is it rich in gut friendly microbes, it also tastes so good. There are so many varieties of kraut available. I love the turmeric one from My Goodness in Cork, or the red cabbage version from The Cultured Food Company. Sauerkraut is widely available, look for locally made if possible and ensure it’s live and not pasteurised. You’ll find it in the fridges in major supermarkets, at farmers’ markets or in health stores.

I love a cheese and sauerkraut sandwich, it’s so quick and delicious, and the cabbage is amazing with sharp cheddar. Sauerkraut is also incredibly easy to make. All you need is a head of cabbage, salt and time. It’s one of the first ferments I made, many years ago, and my children love to help me make it now. I always suggest you buy a few different jars from different producers first, so you know what to expect. Taste and remember, note the ingredients, and then practice making your own. It’s a really fun and rewarding hobby. I love the combination of red cabbage and fennel seed for my own kraut, it’s always in my fridge and great for topping hot dogs, with a little mustard, or serving alongside mashed potato and sausages.

I often use this technique for cooking potatoes. I cook the potatoes earlier in the day, or the day before, then crush and roast them just before dinner. Add a handful of fragrant herbs such as rosemary and thyme, along with a few thick slices of lemon for even more flavour.

Recipe: Pork ribs with crushed potatoes and apple sauerkraut slaw

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