Czech Roast Pork and Dumplings with Sauerkraut

Bohemian cuisine is influenced by it’s neighbouring countries. Many dishes have a strong Austrian, German or Hungarian influence. It tends to be heavy, hearty fare. There are lots of  roasted meats, potatoes, onions, dumplings, pickled vegetables, soups and breads.
This was called Roast Pork with “Kapusta” and “Knedliky” in my house. (which means roast pork with sauerkraut and dumplings) My mother used to make it for Sunday dinner. Everyone would come over and there was always a fight for any crispy pork crackling and everyone wanted the outside slice. It is fall apart tender and the sauerkraut is a really nice contrast to the rich meat and the soft dumplings which are more like a bread. If you have never eaten Sauerkraut and you think you won’t like it you may be pleasantly surprised. The sour, salty contrast to the meat is so delicious. I always remembered my mother making it but, I never thought my husband would ever eat it. This was the fist time in 24 years I have ever made it and he loved it!
 Who Knew?
You will need:
Roast
  • a pork shoulder/butt roast- mine is 1.5kgs (I just asked my favourite butcher to cut one they had in half)
  • 2 tbsp mustard (strong Dijon not hot dog mustard)
  • 2 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic -crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • beer to cook meat in – just enough to provide some moisture and to cover onions. (approx. 1 can)
  • 1 onion
  • apple or applesauce
Sauerkraut
  • 1 bottle of sauerkraut (usually in cooler where the kosher pickles are in grocery stores)
  • 2-3 slices bacon
  • 1 -2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp wine or water
Dumplings
  • stale bread cubed (3 cups)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • cheesecloth
  • Optional I like to add a bit of chopped parsley
Step1: remove roast from packaging and dry with paper towels.
Step 2: prepare a paste with mustard (I have used a hot horseradish mustard), caraway seeds, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic paste. Marinade covered in fridge 24 hours if possible.
Step 3: let the meat come to room temperature at least 1 hour before putting in oven. Set oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 4: chop onions and place in bottom of the pan. Place meat on top. Cover and roast in oven 1 hour. Uncover meat and roast another 2-3 hours, turning every hour. Add enough beer after 1 hour to cover onions and keep pan moist. If the pan gets too dry add a bit more. When meat is falling apart, it’s done.
Step 5: rinse sauerkraut in colander under cool water for a few minutes. Squeeze and return to pot.
Step 6: in a saute pan. Fry bacon and once almost crunchy, remove and fry onions in same pan.
Step 7: add cooked onions and bacon to sauerkraut. Add water to almost cover and cook 20 mins add flour to white wine and mix to create a slurry/paste, add this paste to sauerkraut. Cook further 10 minutes.If it gets too dry you can add 1/4 cup of water.
Step 8: prepare dumplings. add all dry ingredients to a medium bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder,
and salt.Stir to mix. Add eggs and milk mixing well with a wooden spoon. Add stale bread cubes.
Step 9: lay out a piece of cheesecloth (double thickness) on counter and add half the dough. It is very wet so do not be alarmed.
Step 10: roll up the cheesecloth and tie with kitchen safe twine.
Step 11: boil in salted water for 20 minutes
Step 12: cut ends and remove from cheesecloth as soon as you can handle.
Step 13: remove pork from oven and allow to rest covered with foil for 15 minutes. You can slice the pork or what I do is I separate the meat where it naturally wants to fall apart. I remove every piece of fat and serve beautifully cleaned chunks that can be pulled apart and really do not need a knife to cut.
Step 14: strain juice that is left in the pan, skim off oil and return to a small pan cooking to reduce liquid (you can also add 1 tbsp of cornstarch to 1 tbsp of cold water-stir to combine then add to pan juices to thicken)

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