Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Roasted Pork with Mushroom Sauce, Kraut and Cabbage



My friend, Gosia, from Poland asked me the other day why I don't post more Polish food on this blog.  After all, I am of Eastern European culture.

I love Polish food!  Growing up near Pittsburgh, PA, I learned that Polish food is the ultimate comfort food.  In fact, I recently read where the people of Pittsburgh eat 11 times more pierogies over people in other US cities. 

http://pittsburgh.about.com/od/recipes/r/pierogies.htm

The trick for me is not in the making of the Polish food; it is preparing it to be healthy enough so that it doesn't pack on a lot of extra pounds.

With her permission, I am actually going to be posting one of Gosia's Polish Hunter Stew recipes very soon.  I will try to make her dish this weekend. Since I am part Polish, part Slovak and part Ukrainian, I added an Eastern European label on to the right so that you can see the collection of these recipes as I occasionally post them. 

This dish that I am posting tonight I made the other day.   It kind of reminds me of a cross between a Polish and a Hungarian meal.  It's slow cooker-easy, so I know you will love it on a busy day.  I like this dish because it's economical, too!

Slow cooker recipes don't really lend themselves to a pictorial as you throw everything in the pot together.  I think the final result tells you what you're in for here! 

Start with partially frozen chops to keep the meat juicy.  And, yes, this dish is even better the next day as all the flavors marry overnight.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless pork sirloin chops (partially frozen)
1/2 tbs. grill seasoning for chicken (I used Weber Canadian)
1 tsp. ground sage
2 tsp. onion powder, divided
1 can (10.5 ounce) low sodium, fat free cream of mushroom soup
1 bay leaf
1 pound sauerkraut (drained but not rinsed)
2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)
2 tsp. Hungarian Paprika, divided
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
2 or three drops of gravy enhancer (optional)

Directions:

Place partially frozen pork chops in slow cooker.  Sprinkle with the grill seasoning, ground sage and onion powder.  Add the mushroom soup and the bay leaf (dried is fine).  Cook over low heat for about four hours.

Add the sauerkraut and chopped cabbage on top of the pork along with the caraway seeds.  Top with the rest of the onion powder and half of the paprika.  Continue to cook for two more hours. 

Add the chopped mushrooms.  Continue to cook for one more hour. 

Transfer pork and vegetables from the slow cooker to a serving bowl and keep warm.  Remove bay leaf.  Add the sour cream and the gravy enhancer to the pan juices.  Turn slow cooker on high and cover until the mixture bubbles and warms through.  Pour the gravy over the pork and the vegetables and toss.  Top with remaining paprika. 

I like to serve this with whole grain pierogies with onions. Yum!

Note:  Fresh chopped sage for garnish is optional.

Look for more fall, Eastern European and Oktoberfest recipes coming soon!
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