When I was a kid . . . a thousand years ago it seems . . . my mother used to make an amazing dish that I can still remember. She slowly cooked a pork roast with sauerkraut, apples, and potatoes. I know that it was an odd thing for kids to love but we did!
A few weeks ago, during my 'I've eaten my weight in Italian food, I need a break' phase, I saw a post on my friend katie's blog that reminded me of mom's recipe. I had a ton of sausages in the freezer that I wanted to use up and sauerkraut in the pantry so it was a perfect fit. I modified Katie's recipe a bit by adding in the potatoes and apples I remembered from mom's dish.
The result was amazing - this is comfort food at it's finest. Katie's version is far more sophisticated than mom's was - no one had heard of juniper berries back in the 70s, one certainly wasn't cooking with wine, and garlic? Mom would rarely use garlic! We were WASPs and anything that deviated from the traditional meat, potato, and boiled veg was frowned upon. I think her wonderful roast was stretching it as far as my dad was concerned.
Yes, this version is more nuanced than mom's was and uses ingredients that weren't common in the 70s but the core is there - delicate (yes, delicate) sauerkraut, rich pork, and a delicious sauce pulled me back to those carefree days of childhood. Now if only my bills could have been pulled away as well. :-)
16oz (500gr) sauerkraut
2 cloves garlic
1 rib celery
1 tbs olive oil
4 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 - 1 cup white wine
1/4 cup beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
5 juniper berries
Rinse the sauerkraut and drain well. Chop the onion, celery, carrot and mince the garlic. In large, deep skillet sauté the vegetables until onions are tender 8 minutes. Move to the side and add the sausages. Brown on both sides. Remove the sausages and add the sauerkraut, 1/2 cup wine, 1/4 cup stock, the herbs and spices. Stir to mix well. Place the sausages on top, cover and simmer for 30 - 60 minutes, the longer the better. Depending on the kraut you may have to add the remaining wine; raw sauerkraut will absorb more liquid than cooked.