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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pork Roast, Knephla and Sauerkraut

When Kiddo2 and I returned from a very disappointing trip that was a whole week in length (the longest I'd ever been away from the Hubby and Kiddo1), I was in desperate need of some comfort food. And by comfort food, I mean boiled dough...I'm a German from Russia after all!!

I busted out this homeraised pork roast that was given to us by a friend. The very same friend who helped my husband shingle our roof the day before I gave birth to Kiddo2 last summer...bless him!

First, get out your favorite roasting pan and add a couple tablespoons of your favorite fat. We're going to sizzle and sear the roast. This pan was my Christmas present from my dad when I was in college. What college girl wants an awesome roasting pan?? But now, it's my favorite pan, hands down. Wait until you see the lid...

Wait until the fat is melted and/or heated up but not burning.

Here's our fabulous homeraised roast. The cut really doesn't matter, any old pork roast will do. This one was frozen and no, I didn't thaw it beforehand (chefs everywhere gasp in horror). Notice I haven't seasoned the meat in ANY way, pork is a delicately flavored meat and doesn't need marinades, rubs, or all that nonsense. We don't even add salt, the sauerkraut has salt in it.

I slapped the cover on immediately to prevent the spatter that comes from frozen meat and hot oil. The lid is also a shallow pan that can be used separately (like for a killer batch of Swiss Steaks).

While the meat is searing, run down to your basement and fetch a quart of your homemade sauerkraut. What?? You don't have homemade sauerkraut? Oh, you poor thing, we'll have to correct that soon...as soon as the cabbage comes on this summer.

Check out that awesome sear!

Dump in your sauerkraut.

What to do with those delicious fermented bits of cabbage??

For heaven's sake don't throw it away, rinse it out with water and back into the kettle.

Add a bit more water, we're going to cook this awhile.

Spread out the sauerkraut and check the water level again.

You want enough water to cover the sauerkraut, but not enough to boil the meat. It's a delicate balance, folks, a delicate balance.

But the cover on, this one is air tight, and slide the whole works into a 300 degree oven. (Check out my clean oven, courtesy of a chocolate cake that 'volcanoed' over and onto the bottom of my oven.)

I put this in about 11am and we're eating it for supper. Yes, we say supper. Dinner is at noon and lunch is in the afternoon, that is the farm code.

After hours and hours of delicious roasting and bubbling, this is the glorious sight that awaits you! Some people think that they can just throw the sauerkraut in at the end.....ummm, no. The long cooking of the sauerkraut makes it so tender and flavorful. And for heaven's sake, do not use canned sauerkraut...gross, ick, yuck, gag me on a spoon. If you must buy sauerkraut, I recommend Krispy Kraut. It's sold in bags in the meat case, by the bacon.

About 45 minutes before meal time, cut up some potatoes and get them boiling.

When the potatoes are just tender, not done just yet, it's time for knephla!

Friends of mine actually took a class to learn how to make knephla, even spent money on it! Good grief, it takes 4 minutes and a trained monkey could do it. Some people buy frozen knephla! That has to be the biggest scam on the face of the planet, that and pre-cooked bacon.

Start with 2 cups of flour.

Add an egg and 1 tsp of baking soda.

And a pinch of salt.

And some lukewarm water. 2-3 tablespoons.

Get out your fork for the start of the mixing process. Beat the egg first and then work it into the dough.

Keep going...

We're getting close...

Now, put down the fork and dig in with your hands.

Keep working it to incorporate all the flour, kneading and flipping and kneading and flipping. It's therapy really.

This looks good. If you can't incorporate all your flour sprinkle a bit more water and keep going. If it's too wet, sprinkle a bit more flour...knephla are very forgiving!

Take a palm sized amount

Roll it between your hands like you did as a child with playdough to get a snake about an inch (give or take) in diameter.

Grab your kitchen shears and snip the snake into 1/2 inch pieces directly into the boiling pot of water. The water much be boiling or they won't cook.

The pot will get foamy, give it a stir every so often to mix them around. The knephla will float on top when they are done.

They'll have this yummy golden color!

Ahhhh, hello girls!! I love boiled doughs.

Drain the potatoes and knephla and return to the kettle so the can dry off from the heat of the pot.

Don't look Dr. Atkins....it's a carb overload.

Here's the roast and sauerkraut. The roast has literally fallen apart, it is that tender. The sauerkraut has cooked up nicely with a beautiful golden color.

Yuuummmm, pile on the potatoes and knephla, lay some sauerkraut over the top and out some roast right next to it....and then feel your tastebuds do a happy dance! It is THAT good. Kiddo1 ate it all, she loves the knephla best.

Consider me comforted....


  1. Annie,

    I totally agree. Dinner is at noon, lunch in the afternoon and supper is, well, supper! (My relatives in Minnesota and the big city of Fargo always give me a bad time about this.) The recipe looks scrumptious!

  2. Annie, do you think the roast would work in the crockpot too? Sounds good and it would be awesome if I could prep ahead and throw in the crockpot while I'm at work. I may just try it!

  3. Sauerkraut is disgusting to me . . . but, my friend, you have succeeded in making it look good. I MIGHT even be brave enough to try it for the sake of my poor deprived (of sauerkraut, at least) husband. Hmmmm . . .

  4. my husband grandmother made this every holiday. she has past and i am making it for him for fathers day(im not German)and i couldn't find my knoephia recipe. so thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Erin from Phoenix AZ

  5. Oh bummer! I thought you were making knoephla soup to go with the roast. :) Could you post your soup recipe some time?

  6. A friend of mine was talking about his Mother making this dish and how much he missed it. He described it to me and finally I found your site. This has to be the Pork Roast, Knoephla recipe his Mom made...sounds exactly what he told me. I printed the recipe for him and for myself. I want to thank you for the smile, chuckles and enjoyment you gave to me as I read your recipe. I am looking forward to making this dish for my sweetheart and giving my friend the recipe so he, or his wife, can make it. :-)


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