Saturday, April 18, 2009

Homage du grandma :)

So, like I said before. The kraut has had four weeks and could be considered ready. It is not a super long ferment so the texture is really nice and crunchy but the acid is wonderful. I must say it is the best kraut i have ever tasted, in fact it was so good i had to have a bowl of it before i used it all in this old worldesque soup recipe. Oh and I'm really exited by pickling now, i have bought a pickle crock so i wonder what will come next...i wonder what pickled fennel would be like?

Anyways off to this posts ”no twenties something guy in theri right mind would do that”-recipe. I'm making sauerkraut soup. Now this idea sparked up in my head as soon as i started making the actual kraut. Given that my grandparents are from Estonia i had stuff like that when i was a kid, the funny thing is i don't even think i liked sauerkraut back then, but the thought of creating this recipe sends tingling sensations of childhood memories down my spine.

As far as ingredients go its not complicated at all, that said this is not going to be glamorous or technical. This is real barnyard fare.

So to make this soup you will need:

Sauerkraut (homemade of course)
Caraway seeds
Smoked ham hoc
Brined pork belly
Baley or Oats (whole not flattened)

Slice the onions any way you want and throw them in a pan with the fat of your choice and sweat them of together with a pinch or three of whole caraway seeds (going with the high animal fat Estonian barn feel i went with butter but if i would have made choucrout garnie I think duck fat would be the fat of choice as it so often is, actually with some riesling instead of water and some additional pork sausages this would probably make mouths water all upp and down those French/Germanic regions).

Having softened the onion carefully arrange your perfect pig parts in the pan ;) (by the way, these are really cheap cuts so go out of your way to find the best pork you can) and cover the thing with as much sauerkraut (with pickling brine) as you deem so.

Cover with water and bring to a boil and then reducing the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook under a lid, checking back on it after 30 min to skim of any scum and then leaving it to its own devices for another 30. After this hour, taste the broth, chances are it will be pretty salty. The texture is also pretty runny despite all the collagen in the pork bones and skin you have put in there. The fix for this is starch. A potato in a salty stew will suck up some of the salinity, however i did not want to use that method here since i knew this soup traditionally contained a handful of barley to thicken. Being starchy i baked on it having some salt tampering ability as well...Ok so if you know your grains well i did not use barley, i had cooking-oats but deeming them theme appropriate i threw in about two hands worth. Simmer for about another hour or until the bone comes out of the hoc.

Take the beautiful hunks of meat out of the pot. Remove stuff you don't want to eat and portion up the meat so it is more manageable (the meat will be so tender you wont need a knife to do this, a fork will almost be overkill). The smoked hoc will have a deep red color strong smoky flavor and melt in your moth meat.

The pork belly might be the most daunting thing in this for some readers. I like to leave the skin on even after cooking because i like the flavor and texture of it. Also the taste of the fat is out of this world its so good!

Return the meat to the pot and your ready to serve. Once again this dish would do well with a whole bunch of parsley in it (buying some for the next time i eat this) both for its flavor that would co-mingle with the sour smoky goodness of the soup but also to bring some color balance to this admittedly esthetically challenged dish.

Oh and just because I'm a bitt odd, here is a honerary pictures of bone and skin which lend such wonderful body to soup!

Sauerkraut on Foodista

1 comment:

Thumbbook said...

Wow! glad I stumbled into your blog, this looks like one hearty soup!Hope you wont mind but I'd love to direct Foodista readers to your site, just add this little widget here and it's all set to go, Thanks! -