My mom used to make a variation of this with pork or hot dogs (seriously there may be nothing better than a cider cooked hot dog).
The other day I came across a pork shoulder on sale, apples were on the cheap AND sauerkraut was on sale. Kismet? I think maybe.
I really like making this during the fall as it has all the fall flavors, is made over a couple hours, so you can go rake leaves or some other fall activity-and it makes your house smell amazing. Not to mention that the flavors are warm and crisp- just like a nice fall day.
This is a really easy dish to throw together, and the great selling point? You use seasonal ingredients-so these items are typically available and on the cheap end at the local grocery store.
This is what you need;
1 pork shoulder
1/2 gallon apple cider (not juice)
1 can alcoholic cider (optional)
2 large apples-red or yellow is best, sliced
2 large yellow onions, sliced thin
1 bag sauerkraut
6-8 whole cloves
8-10 whole peppercorns
1 tea olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a Dutch oven with heat on medium, add oil and onions-cook until transparent 3-5 minutes. Prep your pork shoulder while onions are softening. Remove packaging and dry meat with paper towel. Sear on all 4 sides for about 30 seconds each. (I did this in the Dutch oven while cooking onions-I’m a big believer in one pan cooking if I can do it). Remove pork shoulder, set aside on a plate and stud with cloves.
Add alcoholic cider to onions and let cook for 10 minutes on high heat until reduced by half. Turn heat down to low and add pork shoulder, then the cider. Cover and cook for 2 hours.
After hour 2 add sliced apples, peppercorns and sauerkraut. Stir and flip the pork. Cover and cook for an additional 1 hour. For the last 1/2 hour remove cover to reduce sauce slightly and to thicken. Check your meat. Not only should it be cooked through, but it should be so juicy and tender that you should be able to flake it off. Remove cloves and add salt and pepper to your liking (I tend to only add a bit of pepper). Your onions, apples and sauerkraut should now be melded into this wonderful saucy sauerkraut.
I serve with mashed potatoes and use the extra sauce as a thin gravy.
This dish is very white and beige-so the picture is a little meh-but the results are superb! (Plus I couldn’t WAIT to eat it!)