Grandma's Polish Kapusta with Pork Spare Ribs

I've been meaning to publish this post for a while now.  You have to understand that writing about this recipe is a little surreal because I didn't know this Grandma.  I never met her.  I think she died before I was even born.  You see, my dad is the youngest of ten kids and he loved this meal so much that he described it to my mom so she could make it for him.  I "stuck my nose up" to this meal as a kid, but a couple of months ago I had an insatiable craving for it.  Ha!  The joke is on me.  It must be in my blood.  So what's a girl to do, but call her mom who probably has made this 100 times, and ask her how to make this wonderful, authentic, family recipe.

Grandma's Polish Kapusta with Pork Spare Ribs

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Grandma's Polish Kapusta with Pork Spare Ribs
1 slab of pork spare ribs
2 bay leaves
1 head of cabbage
2 1/4 cups of sauerkraut
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cut spare ribs into individual portions

2.  Place pork in a large pot, top with water, and bring to a boil

3. Lower the heat to medium, and skim until there is nothing left to skim

4. Add two bay leaves and simmer on low for about 2 hours until fork tender

5. Cut cabbage into 1/4 inch slices

6.  Add cabbage and sauerkraut to pot (note I had to remove half of the pork, add half of the cabbage and sauerkraut, add the pork back in, and top off with the remaining cabbage and sauerkraut in order to fit it in my pot)

7.  Here is what it looked like after three hours of cooking (think low and slow).  Don't forget to fish out the bay leaves which was my dad's job when he was a kid.  Serve the kapusta with some boiled potatoes for a hearty meal.


  1. Exactly as my little Polish Gram taught me. I also add a brown gravy mix packet to thicken the "pot liquor". The BEST!

  2. Looks like my babcis,will make it this week

  3. My grandmother also added some kind of peas/bean I forget which kind?

  4. Dried Marrowfat Peas? or Butter Beans?

  5. Yesterday i asked my 95yr old grandmother for her Kapusta recipe and she gave me almost the same recipe!

    1. That’s amazing. Thanks for letting me know because I never got to meet this Grandma.


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