Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut and Kale Chips

Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut and Kale Chips (Serves 5)

Eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day is a tradition of my wife’s family and mine too after 15 years of marriage. This was my first year to do the New Year’s cooking, however, and I added kale chips just for fun. The kale chips I made were inspired by Melissa Joulwan’s recipe at http://theclothesmakethegirl.blogspot.com/2010/02/dinner-and-movie-meatza-pie-and.html, but I applied my own spice strategy. Some weeks all the sauerkraut I see in the store is made with sugar, which not only adds empty calories, but interferes with the tangy bite of good sauerkraut. I am setting up to ferment my own soon, but found a jar at Whole Foods Market made only with cabbage and sea salt and grabbed it for this meal.

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredient list:

2 pounds of boneless, country style pork ribs
1 jar of sauerkraut (cabbage and salt only)
1 bunch of green kale
Extra virgin olive oil
Cheap yellow mustard (the ordinary stuff)
Cayenne pepper
Garlic powder
Black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash kale. Strip leaf from stems and tear into 2-3 inch pieces. Lay on a dry towel and cover with another dry towel and press lightly. The idea is to get the kale dry. Next, pile kale into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and mix well to coat surfaces evenly. Spread on a baking sheet. Dust oiled kale with salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. I laid the salt on heavy and liked it even though heavy salt is not usually my thing. Pop kale into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. I think kale chips are best hot out of the oven, so start baking just 15 minutes before you want to serve them.

Transfer sauerkraut from jar to sauce pan over medium to low heat and let cook covered for about 10 minutes or until warm.

Pre-heat non-stick grill pan over medium heat. Season both sides of the pork with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Squirt or spoon a thin layer of mustard across both sides of the pork. Sear marinated pork on one side undisturbed for 5-7 minutes. Turn pork to the opposite and let sear undisturbed for 5-7 minutes, depending on thickness of the meat. To make sure meat is well-cooked I sometimes cover while searing with a metal pan or pot cover to trap heat. Covering also forces meat to lie flat if it starts to curl up.

Transfer pork, sauerkraut, and kale to a plate and eat!

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2 Responses to “Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut and Kale Chips”

  1. Tom,

    Thanks for the inspiration! I made this dinner with home-grown pork chops (LOVED the savory mustard-garlic coating), sauerkraut (which I learned to rinse after the first meal – waaay too salty!) and kale chips. I like to add apple cider vinegar to my kale when tossing to give it that salt-and-vinegar essence. Delish!

    • Tom Denham says:

      I always add apple cider vinegar to kale when wilting it, but spicing kale chips with it too is brilliant. Thanks for sharing.


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