This Pork And Sauerkraut stew is the coziest dish you will ever eat… and your digestive system will thank you.
This dish feels like a throwback to olden times. The times when grandmas were in the kitchen cooking all day long and the delicious aromas wafted all through the house and pulled you toward the stove. And if you were lucky she let you lick the spoon or gave you a taste from the bubbling pot.
At least that’s what my imagination conjures up. I had two amazing grandmas. One of them didn’t cook like this. I remember visiting her in Florida and she’d be cooking a whole beef tongue. I remember loving this meat, until I saw it sitting there unsliced on the counter. That tongue would have probably been great in a stew like this, but I don’t remember this kind of cooking happening in her house. My other grandma was a spitfire. My memories of her are mostly around her apartment in Manhattan. She lived life to the fullest. Dancing and clubbing and telling us all of her stories about growing up in a very large family in South Africa. I think she would have loved this stew, but the only thing I ever remember her cooking was spaghetti and meatballs. But that’s a really happy foodie memory for me.
Anyway, if you make this dish, which I really think you should, I bet it will give you some kind of old time foodie feels too.
Okay, back to this dish…
I was looking for something to cook that would showcase the amazing sauerkraut I had in my fridge. Now that we live on the North Fork of Long Island amidst the farms and the vineyards, my cooking style has expanded. A few months ago I was a part of a sauerkraut-making event at a local farm. By the by… did you know that sauerkraut is made with just cabbage, salt, and water? You could have knocked me over when I found that out. I mean, put the big L on my forehead… I had several pretty expensive artisan krauts in my fridge at the time. Really, a good fermented raw sauerkraut can be made for pennies a jar. Who knew…?
This amazing Pork And Sauerkraut Stew is made with boneless pork, sausages, and sauerkraut. When I was perusing recipes on my favorite blogs, I found many versions of this classic stew. I made it my own and I hope you do too.
There are lots of healthy ingredients in this recipe for Pork And Sauerkraut Stew:
Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, are easily digestible, and provide healthy digestive enzymes to your system. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. This is a great way to keep healthy — when your gut is healthy, you are healthy, your skin shines, and you have more energy. Simple, but true!
In Chinese medicine, we use prunes to reduce stomach acidity and to help smooth the digestion. The claim to fame of the prune is that it helps fight against constipation. This is true, and when you clear your intestines, you are also taking a great step toward preventing colon cancer. These dried plums also are great for your vision and they have enough potassium to make them an official heart-healthy food.
Bone broth heals your digestive system. It is filled with collagen and gelatin. Both of these substances, when slowly heated for an extended period of time, have been shown to actually heal your gut lining. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation throughout your body and it can also strengthen your bones.
It really is true that an apple a day is a good thing. Apples help to strengthen your heart. They are also good for your digestion and they can help eliminate mucus when you have a cold. So, the combination of apples and cinnamon together are great for this time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick. Apples have a high antioxidant content, especially Granny Smiths and Red Delicious. This, combined with the fact that they have a lot of healthy fiber, is why apples are good at fighting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some cancers. They have also been shown to help ward off diabetes, high cholesterol and gallstones.
- ¼ oz dried porcini mushrooms (soaked in 1-1/2 cups boiling water for 1 hour) NOTE: do not discard the soaking liquid!
- 6 slices bacon, sliced crosswise into ½ inch pieces
- 1-1/4 lb boneless pork stew meat, cut into bite size cubes
- 3 sausage links, seared in a pan until almost cooked through (use whatever sausage you like)
- extra virgin olive oil, if needed for pan
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 med onions, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 whole alllspice berries
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 3 Tbs flour (all purpose, gluten-free, rice flour... whatever you have)
- 1 qt fermented sauerkraut
- 8 pitted prunes, chopped
- 6 cups beef bone broth
- ½ cup sherry
- 2 green apples, peeled and diced
- ½ cup yogurt (optional)
- Cook bacon in a large heavy pot, then remove it to a plate.
- To the fat in the pan, add the boneless pork. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until brown on all sides. Remove and add to the plate with the bacon.
- Add the sausage and stir until seared on all sides. Remove from the pan and cut it into slices.
- Add caraway, allspice, bay leaves, and onions. Stir about 5 minutes, or until softened and starting to brown. Add tomato paste and stir about 5 minutes.
- Add flour and stir 2 minutes.
- Add sauerkraut and stir for 1 minutes.
- Add meats back into the pot.
- Add mushrooms and their soaking liquid.
- Add prunes.
- Add stock and wine and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes.
- Now add the apples, stir, recover, and cook on low heat for an additional 40 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt if you like that kind of thing.