Editor’s Note: Orting resident Beverly Marshall is an award-winning cook and baker, with accolades ranging from national recognition by Betty Crocker to honors gained in regional competitions. She has also published a book of recipes, and from time-to-time she shares her favorites with the Mountain News.
“It’s not only good, it’s good for you!”
Sauerkraut was a staple in my growing up days. Of course, I am half-German, but I’ve found out more recently just how healthy sauerkraut is. (See list at end of recipe).
My mother used to prepare sauerkraut with pork ribs or frankfurters, and back then we didn’t worry about MSG or too much salt in processed foods.
But pork chops can be used in this recipe instead of pork steak or ribs. They make it equally as tasty, probably even more so since they have a little fat on them.
Nowadays, I buy Farman’s Sauerkraut in a large jar, and add onion, carrot, black pepper and brown sugar; plus lean pork steak or some good frankfurters.
By “good” I mean without MSG or the other additives that are questionable for one’s health. They cost a little more but are worth the price to not consume the potentially harmful ingredients. Adding brown sugar gives it a milder taste. If you want to drain the juices from the sauerkraut and rinse it before cooking, it will be even milder. Some people don’t like the “sour” taste. Some store-bought sauerkraut is milder than others, and I like it mild myself. That’s why I use Farman’s and prepare it as follows:
Delicious and healthy sauerkraut with pork:
1 large jar Farman’s sauerkraut
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup (approx.) finely chopped or grated carrot
2 tbsp brown sugar
A sprinkle of black pepper.
1/2 cup (or more) chicken broth or water
2 or 3 pork chops or steaks, or 4 to 6 good frankfurters
– Empty sauerkraut into medium-sized saucepan.
– Add all remaining ingredients except meat. Stir together.
– If using pork chops or pork steak, brown first in a little oil in skillet, then place meat pieces (2 or 3) on top of sauerkraut, or you can cut them into smaller pieces first, if desired – OR – add pork or frankfurters on top.
Then, let come to a boil.
– Cover, lower heat and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
I’m willing to bet that you will like this sauerkraut even if you think you don’t like sauerkraut. In our family this has always been served over mashed potatoes. Appetitlichstem! (Translation: Most delicious!)
Sauerkraut is Nutritious
As a vegetable dish, Sauerkraut is vitamin packed, containing Vitamin A and Vitamin C, along with minerals such as calcium and iron. It contains no fat and is a good source of fiber. It also contains Vitamin K, potassium, folate, manganese, Vitamin B6 and copper.
Sauerkraut can help boost the immune system. The phytochemicals in sauerkraut can ward off many ailments (including constipation) by increasing a body’s immunity. It may even be beneficial in weight maintenance.
Sauerkraut is rich in the bacterium Lactobacilli plantarum. This helps protect and balance healthy levels of bacteria in the body’s gastrointestinal tract. It will help with digestion and eliminating waste from the body.
As for fiber, a 1-cup serving of sauerkraut contain 4 grams of fiber. Fiber helps relieve constipation waste quickly and efficiently through the body.
Sauerkraut and its juices are beneficial in the breakdown of proteins. It’s known to support healthy intestines, assist digestion, and cultivate intestinal flora.
One sauerkraut remedy for constipation is to drink an 8-ounce glass of warm sauerkraut juice directly followed by an 8-ounce glass of unsweetened grapefruit juice. This folk remedy has become so popular that sauerkraut juice is now found on many grocery stores shelves.
Delicious Pork Chops
My mother used to make really good pork chops. I don’t have a recipe, just in my head what I remember. She dipped the chops in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs, that I think were seasoned (probably just salt and pepper). She may have dipped them again in the egg and crumbs. You could call it a “double-dip.” Then she put them flat in a pan, like a cake pan and baked them in the oven at a fairly slow oven (maybe 300 to 325 degrees) for about an hour. They were really tender and good that way.
© 2011 Beverly Marshall