Cook2 hrs 30 mins
This is one of my favorite meals handed down from my Italian/Czech grandparents to my father to myself. The latter two individuals are still alive, so we're claiming credit for it. (Who's gonna argue?) It rates scary on the health-O-meter, but who cares?! It's delicious! Hey, if you want to go exercise, donate to the IRS or volunteer at your local library to alleviate your guilt, go right ahead. I want you to know that I'm usually very stingy with this recipe. Course, that doesn't mean you'll like it, but that's not MY fault! Oh, and just so you know, these are very firm and dense dumplings, not light and fluffy. We prefer these stick-to-your-bones babies. And each bite you take MUST have a bit of sauer kraut, pork and dumpling on it....it's the LAW. Number of servings is approximate.
- 4 cups flour (plus extra for kneading dough later)
- 4 cups prepared instant mashed potatoes (yes, INSTANT... this is important)
- 1 egg
- 4 lbs pork roast (WITH its fat, add butter later if you don't have enough)
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
- 2 tablespoons caraway seeds (to season the roast and the sauerkraut)
- 1 teaspoon sage (to taste)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 28 ounces sauerkraut
- 1 tablespoon butter (for sauerkraut)
- butter (to add if roast doesn't have enough fat on it)
- DUMPLINGS: Mix and knead flour, prepared instant potatoes and eggs. (See photo #2) Go on, fondle that mass! Add a little water if too dry or flour if too wet. The dough should no longer be sticking tenaciously to your hands or the board as you knead. Be careful not to add too much flour or your dumplings will be too hard. Use your culinary expertise. If, by chance, you have none, welcome to the club. Form dough into a loaf (See photo #3) and set aside. Go put the next load of laundry in the washer and neglect, as usual, folding the dryer load until someone complains so loudly, you have no choice but to submit.
- PORK ROAST: Place sliced and now screaming garlic into slits you've cut all over roast. Season with the sage and half of each of the following; caraway seeds, salt, pepper and onion powder. Push the laundry out of your mind. It really has no business intruding on your kitchen time, now does it.
- Sear in skillet on all sides. Remind yourself to use the splatter guard next time you do this and turn the stereo up louder to muffle the sounds of self-flagellating irritation ricocheting through your head as you count the newly forming grease blisters on your hands and forearms.
- Put into baking pan and cook at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Unless the roast has quite a bit of fat attached to it, add several pats of butter on and around the roast. Remind yourself that there are others in the house who, if they really appreciated you, would be doing that laundry.
- Lower heat to 375 and cook for 1.5 hours. Lower again after that to 250 for 15 to 30 minutes to finish. Meanwhile, QVC wants you to know…. “You’re worth it!” (the diamond earrings…Give in.).
- Check the roast occasionally and baste with rendered fat, adding butter if needed, but don't tell your doctor or at least don't mention our names.
- RESUME DUMPLING PRODUCTION WHILE ROAST COOKS: Cut across loaf of dough at 1" intervals (see photo #4). Roll into cylindrical shapes about 1" in diameter x 3-4" long.
- Boil several at a time, but don't overcrowd, in a large pot until they float like -- well, like things that float. Make sure they don't stick to the bottom while boiling. Cut into a cylinder to check for uniform doneness. The color/shade should be the same throughout the thickness of the dumpling. Remove the remainder of the dumplings and cut each into 1/2" slices, setting them aside in large bowl. Finish boiling/slicing all dumpling cylinders.
- What laundry?.
- MEANWHILE: Cook the drained sauerkraut with salt, pepper, the remaining caraway seeds, (we like LOTS!) and dried onion flakes on medium heat with 1 tablespoon butter until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. If your mother in law is present, notice how she periodically cuts her eyes toward you in the kitchen -- in essence, “back seat cooking”. If she tries to take over, asking if she can "help you", suddenly remember the laundry. Laugh internally as she slumps toward the laundry room.
- Check for doneness by cutting into roast. Don't worry about losing any juices – you have butter, one of the major food groups, on your side. Resist the temptation to ram your incisors into roast before it’s plated.
- Serve roast sliced. Use roast juice over sauerkraut and dumplings. Or, for the less socially correct, bathe everything on your plate in good, old-fashioned FAT! Yum!