It’s snowing right now. The real winter has arrived at last, and while we could do with a little sunshine, we certainly can’t complain about the lack of snow this year. Good for children and skiers, not so good for drivers.
Windswept after a cross-country run or tired after frolicking in the snow, it’s always good to return to the warmth of your house or flat, and have something nice to fill your stomach with.
While I would be perfectly happy with a bowl of hot sauerkraut soup, my son needs a chunk of meat to go with it, especially when he comes back after a week of working in the snow-covered ski resort.
When our fields and gardens are barren and cold in the winter, we heavily rely on imported sources of vitamins, as well as those preserved from the summer and autumn. Sauerkraut with its high proportion of C and K vitamins is one of our staples, and something we in Slovakia have a penchant for.
The recipe below is from a nice couple I met in Stupava – a town famous for its sauerkraut and an annual cabbage festival that takes place at the beginning of October.
Smoked Pork with Sauerkraut
- about ½ kg smoked pork (knee or ribs are the best choice)
- about ½ kg sauerkraut
- 2 bay leaves
- some ground caraway
- black pepper to taste
- salt* and water as needed
- a hunk of bread to serve
*go easy on the salt, as fermented sauerkraut is usually quite salty
- Rinse the meat under running water and put in a cooking pot with enough water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil and adjust the heat to let simmer. Cook until the meat is tender.
- Meanwhile, put the sauerkraut with its juices in another pot and fill with just enough water for the sauerkraut to be submerged. Bring to a gentle simmer, add the bay leaves and the seasoning, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the kraut is tender.
- When the meat is done, take it out onto a meat board and remove the bones. Slice or pull the pork apart.
- Ladle some of the sauerkraut into a bowl, place chunks of the pork on top, and add some of the meat stock if you prefer. Serve with slices of good, wholesome bread.