Sauerkraut & Pork

This is one of those recipes.

There are certain family recipes that, by the mere smell of them cooking, bring back fond family memories. For me, and I suspect for most, they are the kinds of hearty meals that you eagerly anticipate all day. They evoke thoughts of certain seasons, holidays, or just great times with family and friends. This is just such a recipe.

There is something magical that happens in that dutch oven. The whole house fills with an incredible aroma that immediately makes me think of my childhood with my maternal grandparents. And now that I have my own family I am passing the love down the line.

Sauerkraut and pork isn’t at all sexy, but what it lacks in fancy schmancy ingredients and visual appeal it more than makes up for in flavor and pure comfort food bliss. It’s simply pork shoulder that is braised in sauerkraut, applesauce and onions. That’s it! It’s simple rustic peasant food that couldn’t really be simpler or better.

Alright, that’s enough back-story, let’s make some magic.

Ingredients
4 lbs Country-style pork ribs, bone-in
2 Tbsp Canola oil
3 cups Applesauce, no sugar added
2 jars Sauerkraut, 32 oz each
2 Medium yellow onions
Chicken broth, as needed
Kosher salt
Pepper

Sauerkraut & Pork

Method
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Season the pork with salt. You don’t need too much because there’s plenty in the kraut.

Sauerkraut & Pork

...then liberally with fresh ground coarse black pepper.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Peel and quarter the onions.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Heat your dutch oven over medium-high heat, add and heat the oil, then add two or three of the pork pieces. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so work in batches.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Cook the pork until it is nicely browned on one side, about two minutes. Flip them over and cook another two minutes, or until the other side is nicely seared. Repeat the searing for the remaining pork.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Turn off the heat, remove the pork to a plate, and set aside.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Add the applesauce to the pan and stir to deglaze it.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Drain about half of the juice from the sauerkraut. Add the kraut to the pan and stir to incorporate it with the applesauce.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Arrange the pork on top of the sauerkraut and applesauce mixture. It’s okay to sort of cram them in there if need be, but try to keep them from being completely submerged.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Arrange the onions on top of the pork.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Cover and bake at 325 degrees for an hour and a half.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Check the liquid content and add chicken stock if the top looks at all like it’s starting to get dry. You want to see the sauerkraut just barely under the surface of the liquid.

Cover and continue cooking another hour.

This is where the magic really starts to happen. Soon everyone in the house will be asking when dinner will be ready.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Uncover and cook another 30 minutes.

You can use this time to make your favorite plain mashed potatoes.

Another option is to add chicken broth and make dumplings right on top. My grandmother would usually make both, as my sister was a fool for the dumplings.

Sauerkraut & Pork

Put a pile of mashed potatoes on a plate, make a well in it, ladle on a bunch of kraut and juice, and top with some of the tender pork and a wedge of onion.

Dive in!

Sauerkraut & Pork

I am greatly humbled and honored to have had this recipe featured today on the Tasty Kitchen blog. As I mentioned in February, if you appreciate great recipes from passionate cooks, head on over, become a member (free), and thank me later.

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11 Comments:
Anonymous Janet said...
This looks just delicious! I've made pork and kraut many times, but not with applesauce, & I've always used a roast. I can't wait to try it with your changes! Thanks!
Anonymous cedar chests said...
Wow! What a very delicious-looking dish! I might make some for the weekend! Thanks.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Question -

"Drain about half of the juice from the sauerkraut. Add it to the pan and stir to incorporate it with the applesauce."

???

Am I discarding half the juice ? Am I adding it to the pan to thin out the applesauce before I add the kraut ?

Tnx...Don Keefhardt, pork & kraut lover
Blogger John Dawson said...
Don - I just made the change in bold below for clarification.

"Drain about half of the juice from the sauerkraut. Add the kraut to the pan and stir to incorporate it with the applesauce."
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Love this dish! It reminds me of the foods my dad cooked when I was little! (which I hated then - silly me)
I made this for my family in early December. Everyone seemed to like it, but then it was forgotten. Yesterday my youngest daughter on the verge of her 'sweet 16' asked me to make this for her birthday dinner!
I'm so happy about that, okay a little proud too ;^).
Thanks for bringing a little bit of nostalgia to me and my family!
Blogger John Dawson said...
Wow, a teen dinner no less! That's high praise, indeed. I'm happy to have played a small part.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I am so excited that I found this recipe...again, Patio Daddio! I used it for my last New Year's Day celebration and just know that my family would stone me if I did not make it again this year. It is that good! I need a big batch for my crew, so used the following variations: 1) quadrupled the meat - 1/4 in pork sausage, for the kids and the kid-at-heart, 2) doubled the applesauce (we like it a bit tart), and 3) used all the kraut juice (did I say we like it tart?). It truly is that good...and, unfortunately, after the hungry hoard left my house that day, there was hardly any leftover to savor later.
Blogger John Dawson said...
Anonymous - Thank you for your very gracious comments. I'm honored that you enjoy the recipe enough to serve it to your holiday guests.
Blogger Ellie said...
Can you use boneless pork country ribs?
Blogger John Dawson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blogger John Dawson said...
Ellie - Yup, go for it!

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