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Sauerkraut and pork isn’t at all sexy, but what it lacks in fancy schmancy ingredients and visual appeal it more than makes up for in flavor and pure comfort food bliss. It’s simply pork shoulder that is braised in sauerkraut, applesauce and onions. That’s it! It’s simple rustic peasant food that couldn’t really be simpler or better.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Season the pork with salt (lightly) and pepper.
Heat your Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add and heat the oil, then add two or three of the pork pieces. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so work in batches.
Cook the pork until it is nicely browned on one side, about two minutes. Flip the pork over and cook another two minutes, or until the other side is nicely seared. Repeat with the remaining pork.
Turn off the heat, remove the pork to a plate, and set aside. Add the applesauce to the pan and stir to deglaze it.
Drain about half of the juice from the sauerkraut. Add it to the pan and stir to incorporate it with the applesauce.
Arrange the pork on top of the sauerkraut and applesauce mixture. It’s okay to sort of cram them in there if need be, but try to keep them from being completely submerged.
Arrange the onions on top of the pork.
Cover and bake at 325 degrees for an hour and a half.
Check the liquid content and add chicken stock if the top looks at all like it’s starting to get dry. You want to see the sauerkraut just barely under the surface of the liquid.
Cover and continue cooking another hour.
Uncover and cook another 30 minutes.
You can use this time to make your favorite plain mashed potatoes. Another option is to add chicken broth and make dumplings right on top.
Put a pile of mashed potatoes on a plate, make a well in it, ladle on a bunch of kraut and juice, and top with some of the tender pork and a wedge of onion.