Friday, October 18, 2013

I'm Early... Or Late

Thanks to reader, Cheryl, who left the suggestion on A Confession, I have been thinking about cooking pork and sauerkraut with some of our applesauce.

Looking up recipes on the internet, I found that this is a traditional New Year's meal for the Pennsylvania Dutch.  Cheryl said it was great for fall, and it sure sounds ideal for this time of year to me.  So, instead of New Year's, it's Happy Fall to us!

Of course, all the recipes I found were not exactly the same.  I mostly followed the Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkraut recipe from, but was also influenced by some of the comments written there and other recipes...Plus a little free-wheeling of my own.

In my 6 1/2-quart crockpot, I started with 4 pounds of pork roast, 1/2 onion, sliced (not in the recipe), spiced with black pepper and garlic powder, a sprinkle of fennel instead of the recommended caraway, and covered in 2 pounds of sauerkraut. (Some recipes said the caraway was essential, but I can't stand the stuff.  Some commenters mentioned they used cumin or fennel instead.) The instructions say to include the liquid, but I just couldn't put all that salt in, so poured what I could (without trying too hard) from the jar and added some water back in before putting it all on the pork.

Then I mixed about 3/4 cup of applesauce (more than twice what the recipe said), 2 or 3 Tablespoons of spicy brown mustard (not in the recipe at all), and 1/4 cup of brown sugar, very loosely packed, since some of the comments mentioned the 1/4 cup called for made the dish too sweet.  I poured this over the sauerkraut.

When I checked the recipe, I noticed I was supposed to have put the applesauce on the meat, then the sauerkraut, with the brown sugar sprinkled on top.  So I worked the applesauce mixture into the sauerkraut, as an adjustment, hoping it would work out about the same.

Because the recipe says it would serve 6, and I wanted it to go further, I added 2 mondo (reference to their giant size, not a particular type) sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes seem, to me, a natural choice with these other ingredients, but the traditional meal is served with mashed potatoes.

I thought I'd have to cut the meat into chunks, but with just a turn of the meat fork, the tender meat just shredded.  The sweet potato was a good call... Next time I'll try the cumin, and add chunks of apple and maybe some carrots and/or golden beets.  The sauerkraut is subtle, so while I wished for more of that flavor, Prince Inventive, who isn't a fan still detected it. I will go ahead and add the full strength liquid next time, as it could've used more salt.

I LOVE those days when I'm able to get dinner cooking by 8 AM and not have to think about it again until time to enjoy it.  This night, we were happy to fill up a bowl and sit down together to watch the Seahawks battle the Cardinals.  :-D

31 Days at The Nesting Place

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