For more than 60 plus years I have ate pork ribs and sauerkraut with mash potatoes on New Year’s Day. The sauerkraut and pork always cooked for many hours whether by stove top or in the crock pot (8 to 12 hours on low) until the meat fell off the bones, and the bones were bleached white from the overcooking. At time of serving, the stove top or crock pot still contained quarts of fluid. As usual, we all thought the meat and kraut tasted great because this was the way it had always been. However, the meat was tough and dried out even though it was submerged in liquid. Now I know from some studying of cooking that all the nutrients had been boiled off. In addition, all the pork fat liquefied and now coated all the meat and sauerkraut you put on your plate. Once again we assumed this was normal. (This liquefied fat solidifies when cooled and is the thick whitish goo you remove from your pot before washing.).
Since retiring and as a hobby I have been studying the science of cooking and discovered, years after the fact, that the USDA says fresh pork is safe to eat at an internal temperature of 145 degrees; a point where it still contains many of its nutrients. Based on this I came up with the following recipe.
Remove the pork from the refrigerator about an hour prior to cooking. This time I used 2.01 lbs. of pork loin country style boneless ribs.
Pat the meat dry on both sides and place on a cutting board.
Coat both sides of the meat with the dry rub of your choosing and rub in with your fingers. I use a pre-packaged rub that you can normally purchase for less than a dollar. This way you do not have to deal with mixing up a batch of rub from multiple spice jars.
If it is a slab of a two rib set cut them apart and also complete the partial cut between each rib.
Turn each rib on its side and push them together on the cutting board so they hold each other up.
Apply the dry rub to this side, then flip over and do the opposite side. Do not feel obligated to use the entire package of rub. Some of these rubs can be quite potent, so only use the amount you and your family are comfortable with.
Depending upon your local room temperature let the meat sit out for 30 to 45 minutes to let the spices absorb into the meat. Do not let the meat sit out very long if your room is already warm. As an alternative, you may also place the meat back into the refrigerator for a little while.
While this is going on pour your 1-qt. jar of sauerkraut (un-drained) into at least a 2-qt pan. If you do not care for the tartness of sauerkraut then drain and rinse it before placing in the 2-qt pan. Cover the kraut completely with water and simmer. On a gas stove the flame should be barely visible at the burner. Cook it for about 45 minutes; if you like it to be very soft. Check the kraut frequently to insure it does not boil dry.
To cook the pork, pre-heat a large skillet with high sides that has a non-stick coating and also a lid. Heat the skillet with lid on for about five minutes over a medium heat. DO NOT ADD ANY COOKING OR OLIVE OIL TO THE SKILLET. You will normally smell the skillet when it gets very hot. Now it is ready.
Place all the ribs into the skillet and rapidly brown all four sides; approximately five to ten seconds each side. Then immediately turn down the heat until the flame is barely visible at burner level and cover the skillet. Note, since there is no oil in the skillet when you are browning the pork it will not splash grease all over your stove top and the meat will not stick due to the non-stick coating.
The meat should reach 140 to 145 degrees in ten to fifteen minutes. Monitor the meat closely every five to eight minutes using a digital thermometer. Turn off the heat when the temperature reaches 140 degrees; do not let the meat go past 145 degrees. Even though the heat is off the meat will continue to cook and rise in temperature. While the meat is resting make a package of your favorite instant potatoes which take about five minutes. For this meal I used a package seasoned with roasted garlic. You may also make mashed potatoes from scratch just start them earlier in order that the meat, kraut, and potatoes are all done at the same time. Now just serve, enjoy, and wait for the compliments.