Petitchef

Pork and Sauerkraut



I have been reading over the past couple years about the health benefits of eating fermented foods. Almost every culture has some of its traditional foods that were fermented or pickled. As our diets have become more limited to processed foods, we are missing vital nutrients and health benefits that were previously rich in these diets that included fermented foods. One food that was enjoyed in large quantities even just a generation ago is sauerkraut. However, many people today do not like the tang and sour flavor found in this food. This recipe is a great way to enjoy the sauerkraut without tasting the traditional sour taste.

This is actually a couple different versions of pork and sauerkraut. The first one is from a distant cousin whom we have visited with a few times over the past few years. When Don made this version of pork and sauerkraut, we were immediately in love with it and could not get enough of it. I was surprised to find out that he had used molasses drizzled over the sauerkraut and pork as it cooked. While I still like the way I used to make pork and sauerkraut- (browning the pork tenderloin with seasonings and herbs, then slow cooking it with the sauerkraut (in its juice, not drained completely) and then served with mashed potatoes), this has definitely become my favorite way to have the pork and sauerkraut, and the kids like it much better.

His recipe is as follows: it did not include amounts- just a technique, and he used spareribs.

"Important that you rinse in a strainer the salt from the sauerkraut before adding it.
Spareribs are first charcoal broiled in a pan on an outside charcoal cooker.
Upon completion, layer them alternately in a pressure cooker with the sauerkraut and molasses drizzled over each layer of sauerkraut.
Pressure cook approximately 30 minutes. VOILA, DELICIOSO!!"


Because it was winter and quite cold outside, I made this version inside and did not charcoal the meat. I also did not use spareribs- I used pork cubes that I found on sale at a butcher shop. This is my version loosely based on my cousin's recipe.

Ingredients:

2 pounds pork cubes/ meat chunks
2 (2 pound) bags of sauerkraut (rinsed and drained)
molasses
salt/pepper/seasoned salt to taste

Brown the pork with seasonings in a large frying pan. Layer the pork, sauerkraut and drizzled molasses in layers in a slow cooker or pressure cooker. If using a pressure cooker, cook for approximately 30 minutes. If using a slow cooker, turn on high and cook for approximately 4 hours or 8 hours on low. Before serving, stir the sauerkraut and meat, slightly shredding the pork.

This tastes great with some mashed potatoes and fresh corn. Serves approximately 8 people.


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Another version/recipe I came across as I was preparing the recipe above, was from the Hatfield Sauerkraut package. It sounds very good and is somewhat similar in that it uses a little brown sugar to sweeten the sauerkraut.


Ingredients:

3 pounds Hatfield Sauerkraut
4 Hatfield Simply Tender Thick Pork Chops, browned in butter
1 package Hatfield Polish Kielbasa Links
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 Tbsp dill seeds

1. Layer in a crock in order: Thick browned pork chops, 1 1/2 cup prepared sauerkraut, 1 Tbsp caraway seeds, 1/2 Tbsp dill seeds, 1/2 cup chopped onion.
2. Sprinkle 1/2 of the brown sugar. Repeat layering in order as above, adding in the kielbasa in the 2nd layer.
3. Cook in a crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Sauerkraut will turn to a light brown.
4. If cooking in the oven in a roasting pan, cook for 2 hours on 350 degrees.

Serves 4-6


German Pork Chops and Sauerkraut on Foodista








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