One thing I love about these Winter months is the delicious recipes I always discover this time of the year. As a matter of fact, I can enjoy some of my favorite meals, like this pork and sauerkraut recipe for supper, without feeling guilty about the robustness of them or worrying about heating up my kitchen!
Comfort foods are the order of the day. Meals like this fabulous Family Pork and Sauerkraut Supper dish are perfect for supper on cold Winter nights. This tasty casserole makes for a meal that is not only economical but family-friendly and hearty as well. It is as easy, hearty, and delicious as the Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Sprouts recipe in case you and your family love pork.
How to Cook This Pork and Sauerkraut Recipe
This recipe with pork and sauerkraut is also very easy to make, so I can get in and out of the kitchen quickly. Other than the initial browning of the chops, it is an all-in-one dish that bakes in the oven. So, it frees you up to get on with other things you may have or want to do.
There are really no ingredients out of the ordinary required for this recipe. So, you probably have everything you need to use in your kitchen right now. Plump meaty bone-in pork chops, onion, apples, apple juice, some seasonings, brown sugar, and tangy sauerkraut.
I adore sauerkraut. It has long been a favorite of mine. I have rich German ancestry on my mother’s side and actually lived in Germany for a time when I was a child. Therefore, you can understand my secret (not so secret) love for sauerkraut.
It is an ingredient that will always be found in my larder. It’s so good in dishes like this, or even in soups. I confess, I even like to eat it raw, and you just can’t enjoy a good Reuben Sandwich without the addition of some tangy kraut!
What Cut of Pork is Best for the Pork and Sauerkraut Hearty Supper?
I like to use thick and meaty bone-in loin chops for this recipe. For this pork and kraut supper recipe, you will want to choose chops that are at least ½ inch thick. A nice layer of fat on the outer edge would be perfect. Mine actually came with the rind still attached, so if this is the case, do trim the rind off and discard it.
A thin layer of fat on the edge is nice, but you will want it to be not much more than a quarter of an inch thick. I slash this fat at ½ inch intervals by snipping it with a sharp pair of kitchen scissors. Make sure you don’t go right into the meat. You only want to slash the fat. This small step helps to prevent your pork chops from curling up when you are browning them, making for even browning and a more attractive finish.
You need to peel the onion and then chop it finely. I find the easiest way to do this is to lop off both ends of the onion and then cut it in half horizontally.
Preparing the Pork and Sauerkraut Recipe Ingredients: A Few Tricks
Peel off the skin and then lay the onion flat on your cutting board. Cut it into thin slices from top to root and then cut again from side to side, holding the onion together with your fingers in a cupping shape, so as to protect them from the knife.
Make sure your kitchen knives are well maintained and sharp. Dull knives are probably the most dangerous tool to have in your kitchen. A sharp knife works better, faster, and is a lot safer. Dull knives demand more pressure or force behind them to do the same job as a sharp knife. If your knife slips, it can cause quite a much nastier cut to your hand due to the extra force of pressure behind the action.
The recipe uses two red-eating apples. I core them and then cut them into half-moon shapes. You could also cut the apple into chunks. It is purely a matter of personal preference.
How to Cook The Pork and Sauerkraut Recipe Step by Step
The first thing you should know is that the chops need to be browned until they are golden brown on both sides. Just oil a large non-stick skillet with a bit of vegetable oil and then heat it over moderate heat.
Add the chops and fry them in the hot oil just until they are golden brown. It should only take a few minutes per side. Remove them to a plate and then add the onions to the same pan. Soften them in the juices from the chops, stirring frequently so that they don’t catch and burn. A bit of browning is nice and will add to the dish. Nothing flavor-wise is wasted here!
Once your onion has softened and browned a bit, you can add it to the kraut and other ingredients. I drain my kraut well, give it a rinse under cold water, and drain it again.
How About Them Apples?
Then I mix it together in a bowl with the sliced apple, browned onion, brown sugar, and caraway seed. The caraway seed is another flavor lifter! It goes wonderfully with the kraut, apple, and pork. In case you wondered, yes, cabbage goes very well with apples, as strange as it may seem. For future reference, check out this New York Times recipe of braised red cabbage with apples whenever you feel you want to go the veggie route.
Once you have that all mixed you can spread it into a large baking dish and then pour the apple juice overall.
Finally lay the chops in a single layer on top. I like to use a baking dish where everything fits snugly together. That way nothing dries out when it is baking. Sprinkle the top with salt, black pepper, and a light dusting of paprika, remembering that sauerkraut can also be a bit salty.
Cover tightly with some aluminum foil, bang the casserole into a preheated moderate (350*) oven and walk away. Get on with your life. Do something else while the casserole bakes. It will take about an hour and a half.
I like to uncover it for the last fifteen minutes or so of cook time so that everything turns a nice color. At the end of the bake time, the chops will be tender and delicious, having absorbed some of the flavors from that lush kraut and apple mixture.
The kraut and apple mixture will also be beautifully tender, the flavors have melded into something quite delicious, belly-warming, and comforting.
What to Serve With Pork and Sauerkraut for Supper?
I like to serve this with a nice bowl of hot and fluffy mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are very simple to make. For four people you will need to peel and quarter about 2 ½ pounds of potatoes and boil them until tender in lightly salted water. Drain well and return the potatoes to the pan and shake them over the residual heat of the burner to dry them out a bit.
Stir in a bit of warm milk and a knob of butter and mash with a potato masher until they are smooth. The amount of milk depends on how thick or thin you like your mash. The amount of butter depends on how rich you like them. Season them to taste with some salt and pepper, a bit of freshly grated nutmeg, and your mash is done ready to be served alongside this fabulously tasty oven bake.
That’s it. The pork and sauerkraut recipe for a hearty, delicious supper is ready.
In case potatoes are not your thing, you could make a salad to serve alongside if you wanted to. Some crusty bread is also nice so that you can mop up all of those lovely juices. Or, you can get some inspiration from this Easy Classic Pork Fried Rice Recipe to make a rice side dish for this meal. Cabbage and rice actually go great together!
You really can’t beat this deliciously hearty supper. Tender succulent pork and tasty kraut. This wonderful country-style meal makes for a fabulous family supper! However, it’s time for you to share your experience and thoughts on this recipe of mine. You already know why I love it, so tell me what are your reasons to prepare something else instead. On the other hand, I can always understand that everybody has different tastes. Also, when it comes to this recipe, you either love it or hate it. The combination of apple, pork, and sauerkraut isn’t something for everybody.
So, tell me: are you a pork and sauerkraut recipe lover or not? Why though? Share all your advice on how would you improve this delicacy. Not to mention, I respect all your further questions in the comments section. Remember that we are all here to learn!
Have a nice meal!
- 4 thick, bone in pork loin chops (at least ½ inch thick)
- 1 TBS oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 (16-oz) cans of Bavarian style sauerkraut, drained well
- 2 red eating apples, sliced into wedges
- 2 TBS brown sugar
- 1 tsp caraway seed
- 1 ½ cups of cloudy apple juice
- Fine sea salt, coarse black pepper and paprika
- Preheat the oven to 350*F. You will need a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. If your chops have a rind on them, remove that with a sharp knife and then using kitchen scissors, cut slashes into the sides of the chops at ½ inch intervals. This helps to keep the chops from curling up while cooking.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chops and brown them evenly on both sides. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook, stirring it frequently until golden and softened.
- Put the drained kraut in a bowl. Add the sliced apple and browned onions. Stir in the brown sugar and caraway seed. Mix well together. Spread out in the baking dish. Pour the apple juice over everything. Top with the browned chops and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 ½ hours until the chops are tender, and all is nicely bubbling. Uncover for the last 15 minutes of cook time.
- Serve one chop and a portion of kraut per person along with mashed potatoes for a hearty and delicious family-style dinner.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350
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Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.