Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sauerkraut & Pork

Sauerkraut & Pork
Dorcas Annette Walker

My daughter-in-law’s family starts each New Year out with black-eyed peas, cooked cabbage, and hog jaw to guarantee good luck, money, and prosperity. My sister, who lives up North and where I was raised, always starts their New Year out with Sauerkraut & Pork. Each area of our country has certain traditions of how to bring in the New Year. The New Year is a time of reflection with the stark realization that time moves swiftly by and what is gone cannot be relived, yet it also brings the anticipation of untouched days ahead giving us another chance to make our life count by setting goals and new resolutions. No matter what objectives you have set for the New Year here is one recipe for daily use.

1 c forgiveness
2 c understanding
3 c kind deeds

Mix well and sprinkle liberally with love. Make up a batch each day to hand out to everyone that you meet.

Each summer, just like my grandmothers did in years gone by; I always make up a batch of homemade sauerkraut. Today there are all kinds of fancy gadgets for slicing and shredding, but I still cut my cabbage by hand on a cutting board with a sharp knife. There is something soul satisfying about cutting cabbage by hand that no modern piece of equipment can achieve. Each time I make a batch of sauerkraut I feel connected to the past. While the old method of making kraut was to salt down the cabbage in a large crock and let it ferment until it reached the desired stage, I have modernized my method. Instead of letting the cabbage sit for weeks, I experimented around until I got the right amount of desired sourness and now as soon as the cabbage is shredded, I pack my jars with cabbage, add salt, vinegar, and water and then can it immediately. While some may prefer store-bought sauerkraut to me there is nothing like your own homemade kraut.

Here is an easy recipe for Sauerkraut & Pork that my grandmother used to make a huge batch of for every family reunion. The Sauerkraut & Pork can be prepared in a Crockpot letting simmer all day. You can double or tripled the recipe as it makes great leftovers. My Sauerkraut & Pork takes about an hour and a half to make and this recipe serves four.

Sauerkraut & Pork

4 pork chops
garlic and regular salt
2 qt sauerkraut

Brown the pork chops in the bottom of a large kettle. Sprinkle with salts and pepper. Pour in sauerkraut (juice and all) and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for one hour. Serve hot over mashed potatoes!

Weekly tip: Homemade sauerkraut: Pack qt jars with shredded cabbage. To each qt add 1 tsp salt, ½ c white vinegar, and fill the rest of the jar up with hot water. Can for thirty minutes!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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