Getting my German on for Saturday Night

I have a guest for the weekend and so I made something a bigger more expansive than I would were I on my own.

Three large pork chops were delivered by the aforementioned guest, along with sauerkraut… as Dr. Maturin would observe, a fine antiscorbutic.

As I turned on the Minnesota Golden Gopher men’s hockey game, I got out a glass pan, since I intended to do these in the oven.

Lay down a bed of kraut.

"But Father! But Father!" you may be saying.  Shouldn’t you clear off the flies before …"

No… no… not flies.  These are juniper berries!

Also mixed in with the sauerkraut is a chopped up medium sized yellow onion.

I salted and peppered and added dry white wine.

For some color at the last minute, some chopped green onion.

I salted and peppered the porkchops and just set them on top.

Oven… 350…. for a while.  I think it must have been about an hour.

Served with Yukon Gold potatoes… pork chops and sauerkraut with onion and juniper.

Sometimes pork chops can get a little dry and tough if you over cook them.  These were neither.  

As Preserved Killick would have lamented, "Which they left nary a scrap".

If you want, you could add some slices of crisp apple.

Serve with beer or dry white wine, such as Sauvignon blanc.  You could serve a sweeter white as well.

Gophers’ victory over hated North Dakota.

Tonight, I think I will do sausage and eggs and hashbrowns and watch them beat ND again.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. dimsum says:

    Looks good Father, I’ll have to try this in the future. I was in the mood for beef stew today. It’s now slow cooking in the oven (using a Dutch oven). I used the recipe from the last issue of Cook’s magazine. I tried it a couple of weeks ago….its delicious.

  2. Joseph says:

    That looks like a lot of Juniper berries. ever tried Caraway seeds instead?

  3. Mike says:

    Oooo hashbrowns. What’s your method of cooking these spuds?

  4. RichardT says:

    Are you sure those are chops? Chops should be cut from the loin, so should have the disc of loin meat in them. Those look more like pork steaks (shoulder or leg) to me.

    Or is this another “divided by a common language” difference between British and American usage?

    Not that it’s a problem; pork steaks have a richer flavour but tend to be tougher (like many cheaper cuts), so your method is the best way to cook them. The only problem is when people try to grill pork steaks like you would a chop – that really doesn’t work.

  5. Marg says:

    I had a leftover ham bone so we had 15 bean soup…great on a rainy chilly evening.

  6. RichardT: Yes, good point. I think in the USA we tend to apply “chop” rather broadly when it comes to cuts of pork. On reflection, I suspect they three cuts from the shoulder. I took a look at them and determined that it would be best to slow cook in the oven rather than try to do them on a hot grill or pan.

  7. RichardT says:

    I’m starting to see them called “chops” in here England too, and I suspect that here it’s a salesman’s trick, trying to fool people who don’t know enough about food into thinking that they’re getting a more expensive cut.

    I love cheaper cuts of meat – when cooked right they have far more flavour, and it’s a good way to put down the Puritains who complain about good food costing too much. But it’s about knowledge – you or I could look at those and see how best to cook them.

    By the way, I love the sauerkraut with juniper. Haven’t had it for ages; I shall get some this week and copy you.

  8. JonM says:

    I’ll have to try this one sometime. Looks great!

  9. Richard: You know about the kraut with juniper trick? Great!

    I will sometimes do pork cuts in a hot hot pan and then deglaze with gin and add cream, which gets that nice juniper and botanical background into a rapid sauce.

  10. Clinton says:

    Give you joy of your Gopher’s victory, Father.

    I sometimes fancy a sprinkling of caraway seed in my ‘kraut.

  11. RichardT says:

    Father, we used to have sauerkraut with juniper 20 years ago when my parents lived in Germany. It was a popular thing at festivals, with roast pork cooked on a spit over a big open fire (this was in the Pfalz, a rural, Catholic part of Germany).

  12. Kevin Fogarty says:

    “Serve with beer or dry white wine, such as Sauvignon blanc.”

    Oh, no, Father. Surely a Grüner Veltliner with a toast to the Catholic Kaiser.

  13. RichardT says:

    Deglazing with gin I’ve not tried (I’d have thought the cream would curdle when added to gin, but I guess you evaporate off the alcohol first). It sounds good – I shall give it a go. We get some good free-range pork where I live, and apple sauce gets very boring, so these suggestions are great, thank you.

  14. frere wilfrid says:

    If I have the joy of meeting you in Clapham after Easter, I will give you some of Michel Montignac’s cook books. I too used to be a fat priest before I read them. Father Basden has shed many pounds following their wise injunctions, but he sometimes lapses. I am suspicious of fat secular clergy – look at problems Blessed John XXIII gave us with his Council. It’s not rocket science – just skip the beer and the spuds with today’s recipe and you on the way. Happy Laetare, btw, and keep up the splendid work!

  15. RichardT says:

    Worrying about one’s weight (other than under urgent medical advice) always seems to me to be a form of vanity.

    Besides, fat men are more trustworthy; see here:

  16. RichardT says:

    Here we are; this looks like the original source, the New York Times of 1921:

  17. doanli says:


    Please say a little prayer for me that I may learn to like cooking as much as I did when I was a child?

    (Though I suspect it is because I have to work a full time schedule for a paying job and I’m so tired by late afternoon.)

  18. RichardT says:

    But doanli, one thing I love about Father’s cooking is that most of it is very easy. For this one, the only hard work is chopping the onion. Other than that it’s a few spoons of sauerkraut out of the jar, pop on the onions and the pork, a quick grind of salt & pepper, and into the oven it goes.

  19. Hans says:

    That looks like a lot of Juniper berries. ever tried Caraway seeds instead?

    No, no! Juniper berries are much better. Try it. We had something similar (pork chops, potatoes, and sauerkraut, but the chops and potatoes were cut somewhat differently) a couple weeks ago, though fortunately for all concerned, my wife cooked instead of me.

    The only problem with juniper berries is that they can be hard to find in some places. They do keep reasonably well, however.

  20. wanda says:

    Juniper berries?? This is brand new to me. Caroway seed, yes, brown sugar, yes. Are they store-bought or picked from the tree/bush? You learn something new every day.

    Pictures great, dish looks tasty.

  21. Grabski says:

    FrZ let me implore you (again) to put out a cookbook, in sync w/ the liturgical season and major Saint Days!

  22. JonM says:

    Father Z,

    Have you considered authoring a cookbook? I mean this seriously.

    Clearly your talents extend beyond faithful liturgy and Latin. I’m sure any cookbook you come out with would not only be popular with us WDTPRS posters, but it could show those unconvinced that the traditionally minded love the bounty of the world.

    …Ok, and I need such a repository of recipes to keep impressing my friend and her family because I’m running out of meal ideas!

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