VEPŘO-KNEDLO-ZELO 

Even though this dish is also eaten in Austria and Bavaria, only the Czech gave it a name of its own. As the name, which literally means pork-dumplings-cabbage, indicates, the dish combines bread dumplings, cooked sauerkraut and pork roast—all three of them staples of Czech cuisine.

Fermentation: 
0 days
Active time:
1 h 30 mins
Total time:
3 h 30 mins
INGREDIENTS
DIRECTIONS

FOR THE PORK ROAST:


2 TBS (30 ML) Olive oil


1 TSP (5 ML) Dijon mustard


2 TSP (10 ML) Whole caraway seeds


2 Garlic cloves, chopped


1 TSP (5 ML) Salt 


1 ½ TSP (7.5 ML) Ground black pepper


2 LB (1 KILO) Pork loin


2 Small onion, chopped


⅔ CUP (170 ML) Chicken stock


1 TSP (5 ML) Cornstarch diluted in 2 tsp (10 ml) cold water


2 TSP (10 ML) Salted butter


FOR THE DUMPLINGS:


2 TSP (10 ML) Bakers yeast


1 TBS (15 ML) Cane sugar 


1 CUP (250 ML) Milk


1 Egg


A pinch of salt


2 CUPS (500 ML) All-purpose flour


1 ½ CUPS (375 ML) White bread, crusts removed and cut into cubes


FOR THE CABBAGE:


3 CUPS (750 ML) Simple sauerkraut


2 TSP (10 ML) Butter


100 Grams salted lard, cut into small cubes


1 Small onion, chopped


½ TSP (2.5 ML) Ground cumin seeds


4 TSP (20 ML) Cane sugar


½ TSP (2.5 ML) Salt


½ TSP (2.5 ML) Pepper


1 TSP (5 ML) Cornstarch diluted in 2 tsp (10 ml) water 

For the pork roast:

In a small bowl, combine the oil, Dijon mustard, caraway seeds, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub the pork loin with the spice mixture. Let marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the onions in a large roasting pan and cover with the chicken stock. After the pork loin has rested, place it in the roasting pan, on top of the onions. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for 3 hours. After one hour, turn the pork loin and continue roasting, uncovered. Baste frequently throughout the cooking time.

 

Once the pork has cooked, remove it from the roasting pan (reserve the liquid) and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Transfer the cooking juices to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in the butter and diluted cornstarch and let simmer until the mixture thickens. Lower the heat and keep the sauce hot until serving time.  


For the dumplings:

 

In a large bowl, mix together the yeast and sugar with ½ a cup (125 ml) milk. Let rest for 10 minutes. Add the remaining milk along with the egg, salt, and flour. Knead for about 10 minutes, until the mixture achieves an elastic texture. Incorporate the bread cubes and knead. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rest for 2 hours in a warm place (for example, in the oven, turned off but with the light on). The dough should double in volume.

 

Knead the dough once again and divide into 2 pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough into a cylinder measuring 1.5 inches (4 centimeters) in diameter. Let the 2 cylinders of dough rise for 30 minutes.

 

Fill a large pot with water and add salt. Place the first cylinder in the pot. Cover and let boil for 10 minutes without lifting the lid. Carefully remove the cylinder from the boiling water and place it on a cutting board. Pierce the cylinder with a knife or fork to make small holes that will let steam escape. Wrap the dough in a damp cloth. Repeat with the other dough cylinder. Just before serving, slice each cylinder to make ¾-inch (2-centimeter) thick disks.


For the sauerkraut:

 

Wring out the sauerkraut and reserve the juice. Chop the sauerkraut into strips approximately 4 centimeters long. Set aside.

 

In a pan, melt the butter and brown the lard and onion. Add the cumin and sauerkraut and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sauerkraut, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix. Bring to a boil, then let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

 

If, after 10 minutes, the mixture is too watery, thicken by adding the diluted cornstarch. Serve immediately with the roast pork and dumplings.

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