Saturday 14 November 2009

pork chops & sauerkraut

I forgot to delete some of my recent recipe photos from my camera and now that I lost my old computer (and all the files) I'm glad I was disorganised.

I've bought a new laptop so I can at least blog about the images I found, and I'm happy to say this includes all the recent recipes from my Vietnamese feast as well as two 2009 Food Challenges (this one for chops & kraut plus a wonderful braciole).

Unfortunately I still need to install Microsoft Office and Photoshop etc, so my posts might be a little sketchy for a while yet.

Not to mention trying to recover the more than 100 backlog of recipes I had on the corrupted hard drive of my old computer! Sigh.

This recipe for Pork Chops & Sauerkraut was one of my food challenges for 2009 under the category "food memories". I have a lot of sauerkraut memories, all good.

It is a signature dish of my 90yr old grandfather who would make big pots to feed the entire family, harping on the days when his own mother would enlist his help to cook for his five brothers.

When I was five, my grandparents returned to the US and my parents continued the regular family dinner of pork chops and sauerkraut, a favourite for my brothers and I.

Sauerkraut was such a normal part of our week that I never realised other families didn't eat it. It wasn't until my parents' divorce, with new partners and children who looked at the bland pile of shredded cabbage in shock and horror, that I realised my family was a rare breed of Aussie kraut eaters.

Unfortunately, this meant sauerkraut fell out of favour in both homes, much to the dismay of us kids.

As a teenager I travelled to Slovakia to meet my grandfather's family and suddenly understood the origin of this dinner. It was a strange, emotional moment for me when I perused a Bratislava pantry to realise that this Central/Eastern European dish had travelled three continents and four generations to link me to my heritage.

Since then I have eaten this dish a few times in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and more than a few times on what used to be annual work trips to Germany. One particularly good experience with sauerkraut and porkiness was the Schupfnudeln mit Sauerkraut und Kasslerwürfel that I ate in Koblenz. It was delicious!

So . . . onto the recipe. Pork chops and sauerkraut is the perfect winter dinner served with mashed potatoes. Enjoy.

Pork Chops & Sauerkraut
Anna's very own recipe. Serves 6.
6 pork chops
450g canned sauerkraut
750ml (3 cups) vegetable stock
½ green apple, peeled + grated
1 white onion, sliced
2 dried bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil or butter, for frying


1. Preheat oven to 180’C.

2. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof pot and brown pork chops for 1 minute on each side. Set aside.

3. In the same pot, fry onion until softened.

4. Spread onion across the base of the pot then add a layer of sauerkraut.

5. Next add the pork chops, bay leaves, salt and pepper and grated apple.

6. Top with remaining sauerkraut then pour over 2 cups of vegetable stock.

7. Cover with pot lid then back in oven for 1 to 2 hours or until chops are tender. The remaining cup of stock can be used to top up the pot if it's drying out.

Serve with mash.


  1. I love any meal with sauerkraut! Look great!

  2. Pork chops go well with both apples and sauerkraut!

  3. It took me a while to get around to trying this - had wait until I had a pig ready for eating.

    I was a dubious about cooking saurkraut for so long, I usually do it the Dutch way which is adding a handful to mash just before serving.
    But this was wonderful, the kraut still had a bit after 2 hours cooking and the balance of flavours was good, perhaps I will try it with a little more apple next time, it tended to get lost.


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