Remove the membrane (stomach lining) from the ribs and cut off excessive fat. Rinse under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the ribs with garlic powder, salt and pepper and place on a rack in a baking pan. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or till the ribs are nicely browned.
Meanwhile, slice the kielbasa into 3” pieces then slice each piece lengthwise. Or cut the bratwursts in half crosswise then slice them lengthwise. Spray a large skillet with vegetable oil and brown the cut side of the meat slices in a skillet over medium heat till lightly browned. Remove the meat from the skillet and set the meat aside on a plate.
When the ribs are done, cut into single rib portions and place into an 8 quart stockpot. Add the peppercorns and the ribs to the pot.
Cut off any fat from the smoked pork chops and place into the stockpot.
Add the bay leaf and the peppercorns to the stockpot. Add the prepared kielbasa or bratwurst, un-drained sauerkraut and water to the stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove the bay leaf and the peppercorns from the pot and discard them before serving the pork & kraut.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and boil in salted water till fork tender.
Cut the meat from the smoked pork chops, cut the meat into bite sized pieces, return the meat to the pot and reserve the bones for making pork stock in the future.
Serve with boiled potatoes. My Deutsche family smashes the potatoes on one side of their plates with a fork then they smear some butter over the potatoes. Follow with topping the potatoes with some kraut and kraut juice and placing some meat on the vacant side of their plates. Refrigerate any leftover pork and kraut in a sealable plastic storage bag. Reserve and refrigerate any leftover potatoes in a sealable plastic storage bag for making potato pancakes.