We ate this at a restaurant about two years ago and my DH, Todd, and I love to cook. We also LOVE to recreate meals we have eaten at restaurants. So here is our version of Moravian Stew aka Sauerkraut & Pork Stew:
- 2 to 2.5 lbs. of stew pork and stew beef (or your favorite cut of each meat — I like stew beef and pork shoulder/Boston butt). Use whatever percent mix you’d like. I like it about 50/50, but Erika and the kids like pork.
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 3-4 large carrots, split in half and cut in half inch slices
- 3-4 large spears of celery, cut similarly
- 4-8 cloves of garlic — sliced (amount is based on your love of garlic… I like a lot)
- 1/2 medium to large head of cabbage, sliced to your desired thickness — I like thin sliced like corn-beef and cabbage style
- 2 15-16 oz cans regular or Bavarian sauerkraut (I prefer the bit of sugar and caraway seeds in the Bavarian style — I used Silver Floss)
- 2-3 tablespoons oil for braising
- 1 qt chicken and 1 qt beef stock, boxed premade or homemade. the salt content in the stock is the ONLY salt in the stew… so if you make your own you have to make it sufficiently salty to season a good amount of meat and vegetables. 2 boxes of Rachel Ray, W. Puck’s, Campbells… whatever, has about 4 grams of salt/quart. if you have salt issues, by all means use low salt stock or use Lite Salt (potassium chloride/KCl).
- traditional recipes call for a teaspoon of caraway seeds… i use just what’s in the sauerkraut
- 1 pt or more sour cream
- 2-4 tablespoons flour if you roux the sour cream (you’ll get what I mean in the directions)
|Photo Found at Recipes from a German Grandma|
The veggie prep takes most of your time in this stew. Cut the cabbage, carrots, celery, onions and garlic. If you are making up stock from bullion or using pre-made stock paste, get the quart of chicken and quart of beef stock ready.
If your meat cuts are too large (from the store) cube it down to your desired size. Get your biggest pot (I have a large copper-bottomed kettle pot) and heat it with oil on HIGH. Drop in the meat and braise it until no longer pink… or cook it browned if you like… your choice. Add garlic and aromatics (celery, carrots and onions) and continue to cook on high. If you are running low on liquid from the meat, pour in the two cans of kraut…otherwise wait until the end. Add the shredded cabbage, pour the two cans of kraut on top, then pour stock over the whole shabang.
Bring it to a boil. Reduce to medium for about a half hour. Lower to simmer for 6 hours. There will be a point when it is well cooked but the cabbage and carrots, etc aren’t starting to fall apart. If you go to 8-10 hours the veggies are likely to go to the consistency almost of baby food. Some like it this far gone, and my first of two pots this week (on Sunday) went that far. Its good, but going six hours is a nice balance and gives the stew some body.
You make a bowl and put a dollop to tablespoon of sour cream in and mix. Eat and enjoy.
The European way is to mix flour into the sour cream and make a sort of roux, then stir it into the stew about 30 minutes before done to thicken. Either way is incredibly good. You can see I have a good deal of variables. Play with the balance and see what you like. More chicken stock than beef, or vice-versa. More carrots, less carrots. More onions. Well braised meat or barely browned, etc etc.
From our home to yours…..enjoy!
Mama Erika (& Papa Todd)