Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pot Pie Crust

There's fun and then there's pot pie fun. They are about the same thing but one involves a pot pie and how could you not want that?

This is a pretty standard butter pastry crust w/ no sugar and works great for pot pies and the like (hence the name). It is a simple recipe and pretty hard to screw up. All you need is:

2 sticks butter, cold
2 1/2 cup flower
1 tsp salt
ice water

This makes enough for a pot pie in a fourteen inch round pan.

So I said this was hard to screw up but if you are going to screw up one part it's this. You need to add the flower and salt to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Then add the two sticks of cold butter. W/  a pastry blender or a fork, you need to combine this stuff. Here is where you need to be careful. If you want a nice, flaky texture, you cannot mix it too much. You want to have big visible chunks of butter left. If it is a throughly mixed paste, you have gone to far and your crust will turn out a bit dense but still good.

Right like that is about how you want it. Don't worry if there a couple big chunks, they will get broken up as you work w/ it later. Once you got it here, you need to add about a half cup of ice water until you can get it all to stick together (not the cubes, just the water). Again, don't overwork it. Form the ball into two roughly equal sized chunks:

You need to cover these and place them in the fridge for an hour or two. From here you need to roll it out. If one of the balls is bigger, start w/ that as this will be the bottom crust. Use a rolling pin or a big beer bottle:

This will need to be about sixteen or seventeen inches across. Measure w/ your pan and it needs to be a bit larger so it can cover the sides. Then you are just gonna wanna place it in a lightly greased pan:

This is a pot pie, it's supposed to be a bit rustic so don't go worrying it's all completely geometrically perfect. As you can see, I had to patch it up a bit w/ extra dough, that is no big deal either. After this, roll out the other chunk to a slightly smaller diameter. Add your pie filling and then place the other crust on top forming a seal around the edges as best you can. Then put a few slits in the top to let steam out.

From here, I place in an oven at about 400 F for twenty minutes until the crust is nice and brown. If you have a favorite pot pie filling, let us know in the comments. Here at TFK, we are constantly looking for new things to stuff in crusts.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pigtail and Mayacoba Bean Soup

Cooking w/ pigtails is a blast and a half! I used them to make a rich, smoky soup w/ myacoba beans.

Here's what you need:

1 pkg mayacoba beans
1 lb smoked pig tails
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
2 turnips
2 large carrots
2 stalks celery
1 can beer
salt, pepper
1/4 cup louisianna hot sauce 

Myacoba beans look like pinto beans w/o the spots on them and taste pretty similar. Feel free to substitute w/ pintos or your favorite bean. You can substitute ham hocks or smoked pig knuckles for the pig tails too, which are some might weird looking meat hunks. If my mom didn't read this blog, I'd make some comments on what the bottom one looks like:

Your first step is to soak the beans. Either cover them w/ water and let them sit over night or bring to a boil and let them sit for about an hour. Drain the bean, add pigtails and cover w/ water again. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about one hour until the beans are soft.

While you wait, dice up the onion, garlic, carrot, turnip and celery. After the beans are soft, toss them in the pot along w/ two bay leaves.

By this time, a lot of the liquid will have evoporated. Top up w/ enough beer to cover. See my recipe for pork and power kraut for the beer of my choosing for such things. Bring back to a simmer and cook about twenty minutes or until the veggies are soft. Remove the pigtails. If you want, you can try to cut up what little meat is on them and add it back to the soup. At this point, you will want to add some hotsauce. I used Louisianna Hot Sauce, which has a lot of chile flavor and just a touch of vinegar but use whatever you have around. It takes a lot for all these beans, about a quarter cup. Add a good teaspoon or two of black pepper and then salt to taste. You can serve this as a soup or pull out the beans and veggies w/ a slotted spoon and serve over rice.

Now that's some fun stuff! If you have a favorite bean or pork tail recipe, post it in the comments.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Cauliflower Sauce w/ Chicken

You can turn pretty much any vegetable into a sauce by roasting it and throwing it in the food processor. In this case, I used cauliflower and red bell pepper. Makes for a nice light meal.

2 red bell peppers
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 large chicken breast
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 handful cilantro
salt, pepper, Sriraracha hot sauce
~1 cup water or stock

The first thing you want to do is roast the veggies. I put them on a baking sheet in the broiler. Takes about ten minutes to start getting hot and soft w/ a little bit of char like so:

Pull the peels of the peppers (don't worry about getting every last bit) and chuck it all in a food processor:

In the meantime, cut your chicken breast up into bits and brown it in a big frying pan in a little bit of oil. They can be a little undercooked at this point but almost done.

Dump in your food process mix of veggies and you'll end up w/ something like this:

You will probably have to add a cup or so of water or stock to make it a little more liquid. Bring to a boil, turn it down and simmer for about five minutes, season w/ salt and pepper to taste then throw in a handful of cilantro at the end. I like to add a couple teaspoons of Sriracha hot sauce to this. It adds some heat, a touch of sweetness and some garlic. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rye Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Carrots are boring. Look at this crap!

There is nothing more plain and orange than a chopped carrot. But if I had to name one thing that makes anything more exciting, it's whiskey. Specifically, I will be using rye whiskey today. It has a dry spicy flavor that really cuts through. The rye I chose was the 100 proof Bottled in Bond Rittenhouse Rye, which is a very good whiskey by any standard but inexpensive so you don't have to sweat the fact that you don't get to drink a couple ounces of it. Bourbon will work just as well. Scotch is great too. Canadian whiskey is stupid so don't use that. The rest of the magic in this recipe comes from brown sugar and butter. If an ingredient can't be salvaged by butter, sugar and whiskey, there is no hope for it.

Here's what you need for two servings:

1 cup chopped carrots
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup rye whiskey

All these ingredients are approximate here. I just kind of wing this one and you should too. It's really simple. Melt the butter over medium heat and then cook the carrots in it for about five to ten until they get a little less soft than you like them. This is a matter of personal preference of how soft you like your carrots so don't be afraid to taste periodically. Throw in the whiskey, being careful of splatters, and then the brown sugar which should melt pretty much instantly.

Cook this mess another couple of minutes until the glaze thickens bit and it's ready to serve. Add a pinch of salt if you didn't use salted butter. These carrots serve well as a sweet counterpoint to savory dishes.

If you don't think carrots are boring or are Canadian, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Brined and Roasted Fun-try Style Ribs

Fun fans have been clamoring for something to go w/ my mashed rutabagas w/ bacon and butter. Well, it definitely pairs well w/ pork so I got some country ribs, brined 'em, roasted 'em, cut 'em up and put 'em on a homemade roll.

That's some fun stuff right there.Alright, so the real main reason I posted this was to give you a basic recipe for pork brine. This can be scaled really easily depending on how much you make. This was enough for three pounds of country ribs or a small loin roast. It takes only a few minutes to prepare plus possibly some additional time to cool.

Here is what you need:

1 cup water + 1 cup ice water
2 tbsp salt
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp mustard seeds, ground 
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika

(3 country ribs, approx. 3 lbs)

This is simple enough. Throw the ingredients in a small pot w/ one cup water, simmer for a few minutes, remove from heat and throw in the ice water to cool. You don't want to put any meat in this until it is about room temperature. The key here is you want one tablespoon of salt per one cup of water. I like my pork brines, esp. for barbecue, slightly sweet. Reduce the brown sugar if you don't. Really, the rest of the ingredients are too taste and you can add whatever the heck you like. Another favorite ingredient of mine is cumin if you are looking for ideas. Again, the critical ratio is one tablespoon of salt to one cup of water.

The other critical aspect is the time spent brining. For ribs, including these country ribs, I got about six to twelve hours. Basically, if I want them for lunch, I brine overnight and if I want them for dinner, I brine in the morning. If you want to do a roast, twenty four hours is more like it. Err on the side of caution here. A big mistake I made early one was brining ribs for twenty-four hours or roasts for several days and I'd frequently end up w/ salt bombs (which admittedly were still pretty good).

I leave the meat in the fridge for brining and take it out about an hour before cooking to rise to room temperature. When I cook pork inside, I generally go for about 300 F in the oven. It is a good mix of slow cooking and not having it take all day like it does at 200 F, which is the temperature I smoke at. (Note: I hope to get instructions on how I smoke up in not too long.) Cook until the pork reaches 160-170F, which should take an hour and a half or two hours, if you want to slice the ribs up like I did below. If you like pulled pork, keep it in there for another hour or so until the meat reaches 190-200F and it should be fork tender and ready for shredding. 

If you have a problem w/ brine recipe, let me know in comments. Nobody's perfect.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Curried Lentils w/ Cilantro and Coconut Milk

Lentils are fun-tastic. They are high in protein and cook up really quick compared to beans. More importantly, they make for some great soups. This one has something of an Indian twist w/ coconut milk and curry plus a splash of color from some veggies and cilantro.

Mind you this isn't some kind of authentic recipe here just something I developed over time that can be prepared relatively quickly and makes about a weeks worth of food. It takes maybe an hour or two, depending how long you wish to soak. It is also completely meat and dairy free for those fun fans who happen to be vegetarian or vegan.

Here is what you need:

1 16 oz pkg lentils
14 oz vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 clove garlic diced
1 medium onion diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 frozen peas
1 can coconut milk
1 bunch cilantro
4-5 tbsp curry powder
salt, pepper

The first thing I do is throw the lentils is a big pot and cover w/ about two inches of water. Bring this to a boil, turn off heat and let it sit for a half hour or an hour. If it seems like the water gets all absorbed just add another quart or so of tap water to recover. After the beans are done soaking, pour off the excess liquid. You don't have to do this pre-soak w/ lentils because they cook so quickly but it helps to reduce your tootin' after you eat them if you do do it.

Whether or not you chose to soak, the next step is to add 14 oz of vegetable broth and enough water to cover the beans. You will notice that this amount of vegetable broth is exactly how much comes in a can. You can substitute homemade stock, of course, but I feel like the lentils thicken the soup enough to make that unnecessary and any flavor from homemade stock is drowned out by the amount of spices used. Bring this mix up to boil, reduce to simmer and add carrots, garlic and onions. Cook until lentils and carrots are tender. This will take about ten or twenty minutes depending on your personal taste. You want everything a little firmer than you like because it will be cooked a bit more later. Be careful not too add too much liquid, you want the soup to look about like this:

Now what you have here is a pretty nice soup on it's own. You can go ahead and add salt and pepper to taste and be done w/ it but what's the fun in that? Add a 14 oz can of coconut milk, a half cup each of frozen corn and frozen peas, and four or five tablespoons of curry powder. I use curry powder I can get in large quantities in bulk from one of the Indian grocery stores on Devon Ave. here in Chicago. The bottles in big grocery stores are an absolute rip-off. You are better off buying online if you don't have access to somewhere that sells in bulk. I sometimes make my own curry powder, which is easy w/ the right ingredients, but that is a discussion for another day. The crowning glory of this concoction is a big pile of fresh chopped cilantro that you add right at the end:

Don't be afraid; use the whole bunch. You will need a lot to get past the curry powder. Let this cook just a few more minutes to make sure the frozen veggies are warmed through and it is ready to serve. I generally package this stuff up in plastic containers for lunch over the next week. It reheats really well but unfortunately does not take to the freezer so cut this recipe in half if you can't eat it all in a week.

This is one of those recipes I keep coming back to and have endless variations as far as ingredients. You can pretty much throw anything in there you like and it will come out tasting pretty good. If you have any ideas let us know by posting a comment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fun Brownies

I've been at my sister's house a couple of days, and we have pretty much eaten all the key lime pie so we needed a new desert. You never know what kind of ingredients people keep at their houses, but luckily my sister had everything you need for some basic brownies.

Once again I am cheating and using pictures I actually took while I was in China. Turns out the Chinese love brownies! I ended up making these brownies all the time while I was there, and managed to adjust this recipe to just my liking. It's a smaller sized recipe because I had a small oven while I was there. I also realized I've been making them in a sort of strange way due to the fact that I didn't have a microwave to melt butter in while I was there. Although I kind of like them this way.

1/2 Cup Butter or Margerine
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cupe Cocoa Powder
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Flour

What to Do:

Preheat oven to 350
Grease an 8x8 inch pan

Melt butter. You can do this in a microwave, but I did it by putting it in a bowl above a pot of hot water, sort of like a homemade double boiler. Then mix in the sugar.

Next, stir in the cocoa powder. I usually do it while I still have the butter and sugar in the double boiler. I once read that heating up the cocoa powder before making your brownies will help release extra chocolaty flavor. I don't know if it really matters, but people do seem to enjoy the chocolatyness my brownies. If you just melted your butter in the microwave, you can just throw in the cocoa with the flour later.

After seeing this picture, one of my students begged me not make her try the brownies. What a silly girl! Anyways, whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Make sure your butter mixture is not hot enough to cook your eggs.

Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. I don't usually sift my flour, but I do try to make sure it is nice and airy. If you have a heavy pile of flour, you will have heavy brownies. Anyways, mix up everything together and pour it into you pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Your home will start smelling chocolaty when they get close to being done. Otherwise you can do the old toothpick trick to see if they are done.

If you show some restraint and let them cool completely in the pan before cutting them, they will stay moister. But then again, what's better than a warm brownie?

You can always throw in some small pieces of chocolate or nuts into this recipe. I also like it with a little almond extract thrown in.

Monday, January 18, 2010

(Kinda) Easy Yeast Donuts

I usually think that making donuts at home is a bit difficult, but for whatever reason I never seem to have a problem with this recipe. It's probably because it's very similar to making bread. I also like these donuts because they are not very sweet. There's only a little bit of sugar that is there to feed the yeast. You can cover these donuts with glaze or sugar and they still won't be overwhelmingly sweet.

When I used to teach English in China, I did a couple of lectures on cooking and the pictures I'm putting up here are from then. But making donuts is pretty much the same anywhere.

1 tsp Yeast
1 Cup Milk
2 Cups Flour (if it's a humid day, you might need a little extra)
2 TBS Sugar
1 Egg
2 tsp Butter
Oil for frying

What to Do:

Stir together yeast, milk, and sugar. If you warm your milk up a little, your yeast will activate faster. If you are not in a hurry, you don't really need to bother. The most important thing is to make sure your milk is not hot. You don't want to kill the yeast!

Next stir in the egg and butter. You don't need to worry too much about how well they're stirred in because you'll be stirring a lot in a little bit.

Put in the flour and stir, stir, stir for at least 5 minutes. If you are doing it by hand, good luck! But if you've got a powerful mixer, it can do the hard work for you. It's definitely a bad idea to try to use a whisk for this. You need something more paddle like. What you're doing in this step is developing the gluten in the flour, sort of like you do when you knead bread. The dough will become very stretchy when you finish.

Then let the dough rise to doubled in size. The temperature of you kitchen really determines how long it takes. You can actually control this to fit your schedule a bit. Like you can make the dough a day before and have it rise in the fridge overnight. Or if you're in a hurry, put it in a warm spot. You can also pat the air bubbles out of the dough once it rises, and then let it rise again. I like doing more than more than one rise because it gives the donuts a little bit of a sour flavor.

Once the dough has risen, flatten it out on a floured surface. You can roll it out and then use a cup or a cookie cutter to make donut shapes. Or if you are giving donut samples to your students, I recommend just pulling the dough into small pieces to make donut holes.

You'll need to let your donuts or donut holes rise for about half an hour. Meanwhile, you can heat up your oil for deep frying to about 370 degrees.

Then fry your donuts. They shouldn't take very long to cook. When you see them getting golden brown up the sides, flip them over. Try to make sure your oil stays at a constant temperature. If the oil is too cool, your donuts will absorb too much oil. If it's too hot, the inside might not get cooked.

Once they're finished, put them on some paper towel or something to take off some of the excess oil. Then you can glaze them, or cover them in some sugar or powdered sugar. You can try putting in some spices in your sugar or glaze, or even put in a little orange or lemon zest. You can also try putting different flavorings right into the dough.

Key Lime Pie

The first time I made key lime pie was about 8 years ago. After I finished making it I declared I would never make it again. Not because it tasted bad, but because zesting and juicing those tiny limes is super annoying.

Luckily about 3 years ago one of my roommates convinced me to try making it again, saying that she would juice the limes for me. As it turns out key lime pie is the extremely easy to make if someone else squeezes the limes for you. You can sometimes find bottles of key lime juice at the store, but fresh is best! In fact after making it with fresh key lime juice 3 years ago, I was reminded how great key lime pie can be. And since that day I always feel motivated enough to squeeze the limes myself.

1/2 Cup Key Lime Juice
About 1 TBSP Key Lime Zest
4 Large Egg Yolks
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 ounces)
1 9 inch Pie Crust

What to Do:
Preheat oven to 325

Zest a few key limes. I made this pie at my sister's house, and she did not have a zesting utensil, so I tried to take of just the yellowish green part of the peel with a knife. That's the part with the delicious oil. The white part of the peel just tastes bitter, so you try to avoid it. Anyways, you'll notice in my pictures that the peel is in kind of big pieces. It won't be like that if you use a grater or zester.

Juice the key limes, or force someone else to. I think it takes about 15 limes. Or if you don't have key limes, you can use about 3 normal limes in stead. I usually roll the lime a little on cutting board to get the juices out a little. Then I cut them in half and squeeze with my bare hands. You will become aware of any small cuts on your hands (hopefully you had no zesting accidents earlier!!). Key limes have more seeds than normal limes, so I ignore the seeds and just strain the juice later.

Separate the yolks out of the eggs, and put them into a mixing bowl. I actually used 5 egg yolks because I was using medium eggs instead of large. Some people like to put meringue on their pie, and if you are one of them, save the whites. Otherwise, eggs don't cost that much, just throw them out. Although if you are thrifty you can make yourself an egg white omelet tomorrow morning.

Whisk together egg yolks and zest. This is the only thing that's really going to give your pie color, so you might want to whisk for a minute or two to see if you can get the peel to release some color.

Stir in the can of sweetened condensed milk into the eggs. Back in the day, people in Florida (home of the Florida Keys) did not have air conditioning or refrigerators, so they used the less perishable sweetened condensed milk.

Add in the lime juice. Make sure you don't have any seeds in it by pouring it through a sieve. The lime juice will react with the milk and cause the filling to thicken. If you're not afraid of raw eggs, you actually don't need to cook the pie.

Pour the filling into your precooked pie crust. I can't lie, today I was lazy and just bought a shortbread pie crust from the store.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes. A lot of times you can use your nose to tell when things are finished baking, but you can also tell it's done when the pie looks set. Take it out of the oven, and let it cool to room temperature. Then put it in the fridge for a couple hours. It will taste delicious!

You will probably notice your pie is not green. Key limes are not green! Their juice is yellow, and a lot of times the peel is also very yellowy. But if you like green, feel free to add a little food coloring.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mashed Rutabagas w/ Bacon and Butter

What could be more fun than a rutabagas? They're covered in wax!

Yeah! Rutabagas taste like a cross between turnips and cauliflower and can be used to make a nice alternative to mashed potatoes, especially when you add bacon. You will need:

3 large rutabegas
3-5 strips of bacon
2 tbsp of butter
splash of milk
salt, pepper

First things first, strip the wax off the rutabagas, peel and cut into large chunks and cover w/ water in a pot.

Cover and bring put this business on a stove at high heat. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce temperature and cook until tender, this takes fifteen minutes or so. Test w/ a fork perodically. It should go in easily and then the rutabaga will slide right off.

In the meantime, cook up your bacon nice and crispy, reserving all fat. Once the rutabagas are soft, drain and mash w/ a potato masher. Add the bacon along w/ the bacon grease and butter then add salt and pepper to taste. I like to add a splash of milk to lighten the texture a bit but that's optional. This goes along well w/ roasted meats just like mashed potatoes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Duckin' Fun Fries

Nothing is more fun than breaking out the deep fryer. On the other hand, nothing is less fun than cleaning up the slick and sticky coating of grease all over your kitchen. For this reason, here at the Chicago Chapter of TFK we prefer to make our French fries in the oven. They look every bit as lovely as deep fried fries and w/ attention can be just as good:

The general technique is to thinly slice potatoes and lay them in a thin layer of fat on a cookie sheet in a hot oven. This is what I use whenever possible:

Duck fat! I collected it from a duck I roasted a while back. It is delicious and does a wonderful job of browning anything that cooks it. Oven fried potatoes are so easy to make it hardly merits a recipe. First thing you wanna do is heat up your oven as hot as it can go. My goes up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit so that's what I use. In the meantime, chop up some potatoes. They can be wide but you need to make them thin and even, about a quarter inch thick. Once you have your potatoes cut up, put a blob of duck fat on your cookie sheet (or oil or whatever you are cooking in) and put it in the oven for a minute or two to preheat. Lay out the potatoes on a single layer over the sheet like so:

The oil should be at least completely coating the bottom of the pan preferably a little more. These fries take longer than you'd expect to cook. I start checking the first side after ten minutes and it normally takes about fifteen or so. Once it is golden brown on the downward side, flip them w/ a spatula and the other side normally browns in another five to ten minutes.Transfer these to a rack for a minute to cool an allow some of the excess fat to drip off and serve. Don't salt the fries until they are plated, that way you can save the druck fat or cooking oil for later use.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Braised Pork Loin and Power Kraut

The father of all chapters of the TFK feels that pork and kraut must be served on New Years for maximum good luck benefit. I am not going to argue w/ anything that leads to this:

Really, any sauerkraut that's had pork or pork sausages cooked in it is gonna taste pretty darn good but the addition of a few extra ingredients turns it into power kraut, which is way more fun to say. The fresh shredded veggies add a touch of sweetness and cut the acidity a bit making for a more rounded and mild kraut. Here's what you need:

1 pork loin (or a half depending how many people you have)
1 jar saurkraut
12 oz stock
12 oz beer
1/2 head of cabbage
1 cup baby carrots
1 large onion
2 bay leaves
paprika, salt, pepper, thyme
vegetable oil

First things first, season the pork loin w/ paprika, salt, pepper and thyme. I had to cut mine in half to fit in my pot. Leave it sit out for a few hours covered to come to room temperature before you brown it.

Then you brown it in a little bit of vegetable oil. I use an enameled cast iron dutch oven for this. The cast iron holds a lot of heat. W/ thinner pans sometimes when the relatively cool meat touches it, it sucks all the heat out of the pan and you end up cooking it halfway through before it browns. I like to do it in the same pan to make sure I get all of this good stuff:

Oh yeah, that's some good stuff! The brown bits are high on flavor and low on not flavor and you can quote me on that.

In the meantime, you wanna shred up a half head of cabbage, a handful of carrots and an onion in a food processor. This is a picture of a half head of cabbage, a handful of carrots and an onion shredded in a food processor:

What you wanna do w/ this lovely coleslaw is chuck in in the pan you browned the pork loin in and heat it up just until it wilts a little:

It is looking real nice now. If you stop right here this lightly cooked cabbage goes great on sandwhiches. But if you put in on a sandwhich what are you going to make power kraut out of? Best to keep moving on.

Dump a whole can of store bought saurkraut in there, along w/ two bay leaves, 12 oz of preferably homemade stock, and 12 oz of beer and bring to a simmer.

The issue of beer in kraut is contentious. I see a lot of recipes that call for "dark beer," which to me is about as vague as saying one of your ingredients is meat. If I had to guess what the meant by this, I would assume some sort of German dark beer, mostly likely a Munich-style dunkel. Personally, I don't think the flavor of the beer comes through any more than vaguelly w/ all the other strong flavors going on so here's what I opt for:

That's right, Miller High Life. I drink it. The list of beers I'd rather drink is exceedingly long but I still have a High Life from time to time. Is it better than other cheap beers? No. It is cheaper than other cheap beers.

In any case, once you got this stuff simmering, add salt and pepper to taste, put the pork loin in there, cover and place in an oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until the pork reaches a temperature of about 170-180 degrees. It will take about two hours or so. 180 degrees is a bit high for pork but this dish does well when the meat is a little over cooked in my opinion. You will often see recipes for braised meats and stews that have you cook, store overnight and then reheat to serve and it's true a lot of these dishes do taste better that way. The reason reheating causes the meat to get a little overcooked which makes it super tender.

Once everything is cooked through, pull out the pork and slice to serve. The kraut will be very soupy so dish some out w/ a slotted spoon. Cut up any leftover pork when you're done and put it back in the kraut and serve as sauerkraut soup.