Pastured pork, sauerkraut, and whey sauce recipe

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  • Yield: 4 Servings


For Sauerkraut
  • 2 heads cabbage
  • Salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 whole juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
For Pork Brine
  • 2 quarts water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 onion, sliced
For Pork Belly and Ribs
  • 2 pounds pork belly, skinned and slightly scored
  • 1 rack of spare ribs
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 bunch thyme
How to Make It
    For Sauerkraut
  1. Pack the cabbage into a ceramic jar in three layers, seasoning each layer with salt, a bay leaf, 2 juniper berries, and a sprinkling of caraway seeds. When done, press down the ingredients and then insert a heavy-duty trash bag the way you would in a garbage can with the top open and the excess folded back down around the side. Then fill the trash bag with water so it is pressing down on the ingredients and against the sides so the surface is not exposed to air. Allow to sit out for several days or until the juices and cabbage ferment.
  2. For Pork Brine
  3. Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. For Pork Belly and Ribs
  5. Place the belly and ribs in Pork Brine for one week covered in the refrigerator. Remove both belly and ribs from the brine. Preheat oven to 280°F. Braise pork belly in a roasting pan with cider and thyme, making sure the cider fully covers the belly. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 hours until fully tender. Hot smoke ribs for 8 hours at 165°F in your choice of smoking apparatus.
  6. For Spiced Pork Sausage
  7. Mix the salt, garlic, spices, and pork together and allow to marinate covered in the refrigerator overnight. Grind the sausage twice on a large die and then on the next smallest one. Whip lightly and add the cream to emulsify. Pump into cleaned pork casing and twist into 4 sausages.
  8. For Whey Sauce
  9. Reduce the whey by ¾ in a saucepan over medium heat, approximately 30 minutes. The sugars will caramelize, and it should look broken and funky. Add the cream, some salt, and the bay leaves and allow to reduce a few minutes further until saucy. Remove from heat.
  10. To Complete
  11. Heat the Spiced Pork Sausages and Ribs in the Sauerkraut in a skillet on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, adding liquid in the form of stock, cider, wine, or all three. Roast the belly in the oven on a baking sheet on high heat until well browned and crispy.
  12. Heat the whey sauce until warm but not boiling in a sauce pan. Place the Sauerkraut in the center of the plate and top with all of the pork. Spoon the Whey Sauce over the meat and garnish with coarse sea salt, chives, and parsley. Enjoy with friends and a great bottle of Riesling!

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