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Easy Delicious Dinner Ideas

Happy New Year! Start it with Delicious Man Food – Pork and Sauerkraut!

January 1, 2019

GREAT PORK AND SAUERKRAUT SHOT.jpg

Today, like every New Year’s Day for years, I am making Pork and Sauerkraut for luck. It’s a Pittsburgh tradition and is man food at its finest. Not hard to make, ridiculously good, and includes beer. Men love it. Women do too…especially when paired with creamy mashed red potatoes.

And it’s good all winter long because it’s hearty (especially if you’re back east where winters make your nose hairs freeze) delicious,  and a good hot meal. An added perk is, it looks like the food Ralphie’s mom fed their family in A Christmas Story.

This is another great recipe I got from my sister-in-law, Donna and brother Bernie. They were also the origins of my carrot cake recipe and the Danish Pastry Puff recipe, so you know this is going to be good too.

I just went back over my prior recipe for this dish and discovered a big error — I am so sorry! So, I’m re-posting it today. It really needs two 32 ounce jars of sauerkraut, one is not enough. So, if you ever made it and found it lacking, I am so sorry for that oversight. The other weird thing about this recipe is if you cover the pan with aluminum foil, something strange happens to the foil. It starts to pit or disintegrate because of the acidity of the vinegar in the sauerkraut combined with the barbecue sauce. If you can, use a pan with a metal or glass cover instead of foil. I read that the tiny particles won’t hurt you, but who wants to eat foil?

Good table shot

I have a few resolutions this year, including approaching life with less fear and more determination.  I have a few books on my table that are helpful right now, including a Christmas gift from my friend, Dawn. It’s called “Almost Everything” by Anne Lamott and is about hope. Without hope, we have nothing, so I love anything that can keep hope alive and well in the world. I’m also reading “The Power of Starting Something Stupid,” by Richie Norton. Those two, and an old favorite, “Tattoos on the Heart,” by Father Gregory Boyle (which I’m hoping is making me a more compassionate person) are a good way to start 2019.

Last year ended with too much loss for me. Let’s hope 2019 brings us all the health, happiness, prosperity and common sense leadership we need to be comfortable and safe in the world.  Thanks for always reading.  Here’s some hearty man food to get you through 2019.

Pork and Sauerkraut with Beer and Barbecue Sauce

Here it is before cooking, ready to be covered and bake for three hours.

Here it is before cooking, ready to be covered and bake for three hours.

Yields1 Serving

 4 lb pork shoulder roast -sliced 1 inch thick (makes 6 to 10 pork slices)
 meat tenderizer
 garlic salt
 2 32 oz. jars of sauerkraut (I love Claussen)
 1 large apple (shredded)
 1 large onion (diced)
 1 12 oz. bottle of beer (Miller or Bud Light is fine)
 1 lb Polska kielbasa (I like Hillshire Farm)
 1 cup Bull's Eye Regular Barbecue Sauce

1

Slice the pork into 1 inch slices. Lay slices on cookie sheet or in a large casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle pork with meat tenderizer and garlic salt.  Place it, uncovered, in the oven about 45 minutes - until just cooked.

2

While the pork is cooking. Remove sauerkraut from the jars and squeeze it, draining it. Place drained sauerkraut in a large bowl. Add the diced onion and shredded apple to sauerkraut and mix well.

3

Remove pork from oven. (There will be juice in the bottom of the pan - I leave it in for flavor.) Put the pork with its juice in a large casserole dish or baking pan. Place sauerkraut-apple mixture evenly over the pork. Add in chopped kielbasa pieces wherever they fit. Pour the whole beer into the pan then drizzle barbecue sauce over the sauerkraut.

4

Cover with a glass baking lid or casserole dish lid because if you use aluminum foil, it will pit and start to disintegrate in tiny spots because of the acid in the sauerkraut and the barbecue sauce. I use a cookie sheet or casserole lid to cover mine and that works fine. Bake at 350 for three hours or until the pork is fork tender. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

 4 lb pork shoulder roast -sliced 1 inch thick (makes 6 to 10 pork slices)
 meat tenderizer
 garlic salt
 2 32 oz. jars of sauerkraut (I love Claussen)
 1 large apple (shredded)
 1 large onion (diced)
 1 12 oz. bottle of beer (Miller or Bud Light is fine)
 1 lb Polska kielbasa (I like Hillshire Farm)
 1 cup Bull's Eye Regular Barbecue Sauce

Directions

1

Slice the pork into 1 inch slices. Lay slices on cookie sheet or in a large casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle pork with meat tenderizer and garlic salt.  Place it, uncovered, in the oven about 45 minutes - until just cooked.

2

While the pork is cooking. Remove sauerkraut from the jars and squeeze it, draining it. Place drained sauerkraut in a large bowl. Add the diced onion and shredded apple to sauerkraut and mix well.

3

Remove pork from oven. (There will be juice in the bottom of the pan - I leave it in for flavor.) Put the pork with its juice in a large casserole dish or baking pan. Place sauerkraut-apple mixture evenly over the pork. Add in chopped kielbasa pieces wherever they fit. Pour the whole beer into the pan then drizzle barbecue sauce over the sauerkraut.

4

Cover with a glass baking lid or casserole dish lid because if you use aluminum foil, it will pit and start to disintegrate in tiny spots because of the acid in the sauerkraut and the barbecue sauce. I use a cookie sheet or casserole lid to cover mine and that works fine. Bake at 350 for three hours or until the pork is fork tender. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Pork and Sauerkraut with Beer and Barbecue Sauce

Mashed Potatoes 

Yields1 Serving

 8 large red-skinned potatoes cut in quarters
 ½ cup melted butter (not unsalted)
 1 cup Whipping cream or half and half
 ½ tsp salt (or more to taste

1

Scrub the potatoes and remove any eyes, then chop them into quarters (or smaller)and place them in a large pot. (I don’t peel them because the skin is thin and where the nutrients are.) Fill the pot so the water  is about an inch over the top of the potatoes and bring them to a boil. Cook them until they can be easily pierced with a fork.  While they're cooking, melt the butter and set it aside.

2

When the potatoes are tender, drain them and immediately add the melted butter and mix it into the potatoes with a hand mixer. Then add the half and half, or whipping cream (or a mixture of both). If the potatoes aren't creamy enough, add additional half and half/whipping cream.

3

Mix until they reach a creamy consistency. Then add salt to taste and serve them with a little dollop of butter in the middle.

Ingredients

 8 large red-skinned potatoes cut in quarters
 ½ cup melted butter (not unsalted)
 1 cup Whipping cream or half and half
 ½ tsp salt (or more to taste

Directions

1

Scrub the potatoes and remove any eyes, then chop them into quarters (or smaller)and place them in a large pot. (I don’t peel them because the skin is thin and where the nutrients are.) Fill the pot so the water  is about an inch over the top of the potatoes and bring them to a boil. Cook them until they can be easily pierced with a fork.  While they're cooking, melt the butter and set it aside.

2

When the potatoes are tender, drain them and immediately add the melted butter and mix it into the potatoes with a hand mixer. Then add the half and half, or whipping cream (or a mixture of both). If the potatoes aren't creamy enough, add additional half and half/whipping cream.

3

Mix until they reach a creamy consistency. Then add salt to taste and serve them with a little dollop of butter in the middle.

Creamy Mashed Red Potatoes
  • Reply
    EmilyAnn Frances
    January 6, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Happy New Year, Fran. I never thought of adding Half ‘n’ Half to mashed potatoes instead of cream. I will try today when I make Baked and Creamed Sweet Potatoes.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 9, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Emily, yeah the half and half isn’t quite as rich, but is still really good. My mom only used to use plain whole milk and it’s good too. I think I’m spoiled with whipping cream! Good thing I don’t eat them all the time! Some people swear by chicken broth too.

  • Reply
    JoAnn Jones
    January 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Sounds really delicious, Fran, I will try it !!!
    We wish you blessings and every good thing in 2019.
    Never loose hope, you are part of a wonderful family, and many who love you.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 9, 2019 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks JoAnn! One thing I try to hang onto is hope. It’s what keeps you going! Thanks for the blessings and good wishes. I wish you Bill and the whole family the very best!

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    January 2, 2019 at 10:25 am

    We had sauerkraut, pork and dumplings yesterday – and it was delicious. I make it a little different (no BBQ sauce), but yours sound really good, too. At the street vendor hot dog stands outside Cleveland Browns stadium, they sell a hot dog called a Polish boy – sauerkraut and BBQ sauce – that sounds similar. They are delicious. I know what I’ll be doing with my left over kraut. I hope the good luck dinner brings you tons of good luck!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 9, 2019 at 9:50 pm

      Chas, as soon as I’m over being sick, I’m so going to have a hot dog with sauerkraut and barbecue sauce. That sounds really good. Bet it would be good with Polish Kielbassa too. Yum! Happy New Year to you Nancy and the family!

  • Reply
    Julia Shure
    January 2, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Happy New Year, Fran! I hope 2019 is better for all of us.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 9, 2019 at 9:48 pm

      Wow Julia, me too! I’m pouring positivity your way! Give my best to Marc and the kids!

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