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Braised Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Country Style Pork Spareribs


  • 1-2 lbs of boneless country style pork spareribs
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small head of red cabbage grated or sliced very thin
  • 2 green apples cored and sliced thin
  • 2 onions sliced thin (red or white)
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • ½ cup of red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Slice, grate, or food process with the grater and/or slicing blade the cabbage, apple and onion and set them aside. I like to vary the size of the dice so some slices are larger than other so some can cook away and the thicker pieces will retain their integrity. Don’t forget to core the apples.
  2. In a large heavy pot with a lid that will accommodate all the cabbage and meat heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Season the spareribs on all sides with the salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot put the ribs into the pan. Let the meat sear on each side until the rib releases from the pan with only a gentle tug. Don’t move the meat around as it sears just wait until it releases on its own, it will about 5-8 minutes per side. Remove the ribs from the pan and set aside. Don’t over crowd your pan; you can sear the meat in batched if you need to.
  3. De-glaze the pan with 1 cup of red wine; be sure to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add the cabbage, onion, and apples to the pan. Stir in the sugar, a half teaspoon of salt, and the vinegar, being sure to mix well.
  4. Return the meat to the pot in a layer on top of the cabbage. Put the lid on and turn the temperature down until the pot bubbles gently, be sure you don’t get it too low or the meat will not cook, and not too high or it will burn.
  5. Leave the pot on the stove for at least one hour stirring a few times. The ribs are done when they are nicely tender. If you have a lot of liquid in the cabbage and want to concentrate the flavors at the end of cooking remove the pot lid and turn up the heat a notch letting the sauce cook down. I normally do this as I make the mashed potatoes. Be sure to taste the cabbage and meat and adjust the sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.
  6. When you plate the cabbage pour some of the broth from the bottom of the cooking pot into a gravy boat to serve with the meal. I always serve this meal with basic mashed potatoes and corn. It’s a very simple German inspired meal so nothing fancy is really needed.

Recipe Notes

Leftover cabbage will freeze really well, so pop it into the freeze and then cook a few pork chops on a weeknight and you can enjoy a German feast any night.

You can also use the cabbage on a turkey Ruben sandwich for a fun twist.

Spareribs too fatty for your family then make the cabbage on the stove top and a pork tenderloin in the oven.