Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pressure cooking with a touch of German

I can hear crickets at night, a sign of the end of summer. I am a little sad that summer will be over soon. We will be closing up the Lake homes, putting away some summer toys. The herb garden will soon go into its winter “sleep”. At the same time, I also look forward to Fall, my favorite time of the year, with the bountiful of Fall harvest,. I love the change of season, especially the color of the leaves here in Upper mid-west. It is also the season for home hearty cooking, my pressure cooker is calling me.

Mr Wonderful and I had a short trip to Vegas and we had a great time. Being gone for the week, I had to “restock” today. I also decided to make him a “comfort” meal, something German with the pressure cooker. Well… You should know by now, it would be my version of “German” and it is:
Pork and Sauerkraut
2-3 lbs boneless or bone-in Pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
32oz (1 quart) sauerkraut, drained.
1 onion, sliced
2 tsp fennel seeds, traditionally, it would be caraway seed.
2 tsp garlic powder
5 small plums, stone removed and quartered (we just picked some plums from the tree here) or 1 small apple, cored and diced. 
Olive oil
1 cup water
Salt and pepper

Set up pressure cooker for browning. I am using an electric cooker. You can also work on the following step in large pot or Dutch oven if you plan to cook this on the stove or you can transfer the everything stove top pressure cooker.
 Heat 3-4 tablespoon of olive oil till hot.

Brown the pork, season lightly with salt and pepper (be careful not to over salt, since the sauerkraut is salty. 
 Remove the meal and add onion,
 Sauté till soft and caramelized
 Add fennel seeds
 Add plum or apple, mix well
 Add sauerkraut. 
 Add garlic powder
 Return the pork to the pot. 
 Add water. Bring to a boil. 
 Set to pressure cook for 40 mins with high pressure.
Release steam when ready
Taste and correct seasoning as needed.
 If you plan to cook this on the stove, lower heat to medium low, cover and cook for 1.5 hours till the meat is tender. Stir occasionally, add water as needed

To serve, remove the meat from the stew and let it stand for 5 mins. Slice the meat. In a shallow bowl, place some sauerkraut on the bottom, top with some meat. I love to serve this with some pretzel rolls.

Serve 4.

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