To Prepare the Pork Loin:
- 3 pounds pork loin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Water (approximately 6 cups), or beef broth if you don’t get a good browning on your roast
- In a pressure cooker on high heat, brown pork in oil on all sides to sear in juices. Season with salt and pepper. Then add water or broth to pan (enough so there’s about 1½ inches in the bottom of the cooker). The amount of liquid depends on the size of your roast-for 3 pounds use 1½ inches of liquid — add ½-inch more per each pound.
- Pressure cook for 1½ to 2 hours so pork is extremely tender and falls apart. (This is important to the dish). When pork is done, remove from pot and keep the meat juice to serve on pork and dumplings. Prep time on this is about 15 minutes to get a good, rich searing. Pressure cooking time is about 1½ to 2 hours depending on how tender you want your meat.
NOTE: Browning the pork first, and then pressure cooking it is the key to this dish because that’s where all the flavor comes from.
Oven method: Pierce pork with a knife, slice 3 cloves of garlic and insert in different spots of roast. Season with salt and pepper. In a heavy cast iron pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and on high heat, brown pork to sear in juices. Add 2 cups beef broth and ¼ cup vermouth (this will also deglaze the pan) and cover the pot with lid. Place in a preheated 350°F oven for 1 to 1½ hours, and frequently baste with pan juices. Be sure to periodically check your roast, as you want the roast to be pink and juicy inside, not dry and gray. After the pork is done, remove from pan and save the meat juices Combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water. Slowly add cornstarch mixture to thicken the juices for passing and to serve over pork and dumplings. This gives the juices a richer, heartier flavor that sticks to the pork and dumplings, unlike the traditional thinner juices to pass; however, Grandma and Grandpa always preferred the traditional thinner juice. Prep time on this is again, about 15 minutes to get a good searing, and cooking time anywhere from 1 hour to 1½ hours. While your meat is cooking, you can prepare the dumplings.
- Mix instant potatoes for 6 servings
- 2 eggs
- 2 to 3 cups flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Combine dumpling ingredients well. Put out on floured bread board and knead more flour in until stiff-like bread dough and it isn’t sticky to your hands.
- Break off small pieces and form into flat balls, drop into rapidly boiling water. Bring back to a boil and cook 10 to 15 minutes. Cut 1 and if it isn’t sticky inside, they are done.
NOTE: If you have more people – say 8 – mix potatoes for 8 and add more flour; for 10 or more, add 3 eggs and more flour.
Prep time–10 to 20 minutes depending on how much kneading you have to do to get the dough not sticky.
Cooking time – about 20 to 25 minutes or until the dumplings aren’t doughy and sticky on the inside.
Yield: 10 to 12 dumplings
Grandma’s was made from scratch — chopped cabbage and salt until it fermented, and it took about 4 to 6 weeks to make…..so over the years, the family sped things up a bit and always uses this recipe.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped fine
- 1 to 2 jars sauerkraut with caraway seeds (you may add more caraway depending on your taste)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon beef bouillon powder or ½ cup liquid beef bouillon, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons vermouth
- In a heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil and then add onion; cook until transparent.
- Then add sauerkraut and caraway seed, salt (not much) pepper, beef bouillon, and vermouth, to taste. Let this simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes, until the flavor is all the way through the sauerkraut.
- Serve along side the pork.
Prep time about 10 minutes.
Cooking time about 45 minutes or until you taste the flavor through the sauerkraut.
To serve, which was usually done home-style, you place some pork, a dumpling (cut it up into hearty, bit size pieces), and some sauerkraut on the plate. Then pass, and spoon or drizzle some of the meat juices you saved, either thick or thin, over your pork and dumpling….this ties everything all together, and you get a forkful of flavor in each bite.
There you have it, hearty, stick to your ribs pork, dumplings and sauerkraut; an excellent dish on a cold, frosty night!