Podvarok is a traditional Macedonian food, often served with pork ribs or smoked pork meat. Podvarok is made with sauerkraut, but when you can not find it, use regular cabbage.This dish is perfect for this time of the year, especially because this is the time then sauerkraut is made in Macedonia. Every household buys at least 10 kg of cabbage and either makes sauerkraut or fills plastic barrels with whole cabbages. It’s part of making zimnica (relish) in Macedonia and on the Balkan.

You can also prepare this dish with chicken meat.

  • sauerkraut (about 1.5 kg)
  • 800 g - 1 kg pork ribs
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 teaspoon spices
  • 100g smoked bacon
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper
  • 5-6 pepper grains
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • oil

  1. Strew pork ribs-with spices, rub nicely and fry shortly on all sides in a pan with oil. Remove from pan and put aside.
  2. Fry on the same oil the finely chopped onion, carrot, garlic and smoked bacon previously cut into thin slices. Add bay leaves and pepper. Cut cabbage into thin slices and add to the pan. Fry 10-15 minutes or until cabbage starts to soften.
  3. Oil earthenware or ovenproof dish and add cabbage mixture first, then slices of meat (ribs) and pour about ½ liter of water. Cover (with lid or foil) and leave to bake for 1 hour at 200⁰C. If necessary add a little water while baking.
  4. Remove lid or foil and leave to bake for 10-15 minutes more until excess liquid evaporates and cabbage and meat get baked crust. Before serving, remove bay leaves.