My Grandmother's Spare Ribs and Sauerkraut
Apr. 8, 2011 5:25 am
Updated: Apr. 9, 2011 4:52 am
So last time I talked about one of her grandmother’s traditional Italian recipes. This time I’m going back on my side to my paternal grandmother and a recipe she got from her mother-in-law of German descent
and that is Spare Ribs and Sauerkraut. Before we made the major adjustments in our diet last year we used to eat this at least once a month. The reasons being twofold, first, it’s simple. The hardest part is making mashed potatoes
from scratch. You basically add a bag of sauerkraut to a pot, flash brown pepper covered ribs in a frying pan, stack them on the kraut bone side down and simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The mashed potatoes and green beans round out the meal. The second reason
is that to us it epitomizes comfort food. It is simple, straight forward and delicious and though not healthy in that pork ribs have a high fat content it can be fit into our diet as one of the weekly treat meals we allow ourselves.
We are big on the comfort foods, especially during the colder months and we make a lot of traditional comfort foods… Fabiola does meatloaf and macaroni and cheese, I do shepherd’s
pie and corned beef and cabbage. She does braised beef ribs and roasted chicken, I do veal shanks osso bucco and chicken and dumplings. Most of our menu is based around the concepts of simple, fresh, organic and locally grown with the goal of the menu
building being to find the cheapest combination of these foods that will satisfy all our daily nutritional requirements.
In our previous diet it was too much comfort, not enough calorie burn, which is one of the reasons I took up snowshoeing. Now that we have built a diet (and by diet I mean food that we habitually eat as opposed to a temporary or fad
eating plan) we have built into this plan the allowance for a once-a-week indulgence that satisfy those cravings for the foods that are not as healthy for us.
Similar to the additional points a diet plan like Weight Watchers allows you we have a meal that indulges us. And everything is balanced by regular exercise. Though we have yet to indulge in a fettuccine alfredo or carbonara I feel it
coming on as the weather warms up and we are able to get outside more.
Anyway, Fabiola lets me cook this meal because it is simple and it is simple to clean up. I don’t have to destroy the kitchen to git’er done. So while I would like to think that my
offering to cook is an improvement upon the days where most men wouldn’t darken the kitchen door except to pass through to gain quick access to the garage, it is still very much her domain. But I hold fast to the belief that this
traditionally feminine arena, with technology and gadgetry marketed to simplify and ease the drudgery of cooking, is now a masculine playground with all that gear and hardware. Just look at the cooking shows with their firebrand chefs
with sized egos creating culinary challenges more than promoting ease of use. The kitchen is now officially a battleground for men offering adventure, achievement, and triumph, as well as dinner for friends and family. I would like to think that it is an improvement
upon the days where most men wouldn’t darken the kitchen door except to pass through to gain quick access to the garage.