Saturday, February 7, 2009

Smoked Pork Chops with Sauerkraut

The Spouse had been making noise lately about wanting some sauerkraut and pork chops. This recipe is from the Wine Lover's Cookbook. It's a spin on an Alsatian choucroute. It would definitely make my German cousins happy.

It called for a whole bottle of wine to stew in! Being conservative, and wanting a glass for dinner, I added about 1/3 of the bottle and topped up with chicken broth and club soda. It also called for apples, but neither The Spouse nor I do fruit with meat.

Smoked Pork Chops with Sauerkraut

3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
4 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 whole cloves
3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 1/2 cup Riesling
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 22-ounce jar sauerkraut, rinsed with cold water and squeezed
3/4 pound boneless pork loin chops (about 3/4-inch thick)
1 pound smoked polish sausage
3/4 pound Yukon Gold or other yellow-fleshed potatoes, quartered
club soda and chicken broth

In a large stockpot, sauté pancetta in its own fat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and onions and continue sautéing for 5 to 6 minutes.

Add peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, caraway seeds, wine, and cider vinegar. Put sauerkraut into the pot and carefully place pork chops, sausage, and potatoes into the sauerkraut and liquid so that they're well covered. Top up with chicken broth and club soda as needed.

Cover pot and simmer for 50 minutes or until pork is fork-tender.

Divide meat, sauerkraut, and potatoes evenly onto plates or serve in large soup bowls.

Wine Pairing: Pair with a dry Riesling, obviously.

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