Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crock Pot Tuesday: Pork Chops with Brats and Sauerkraut

Adapted from Cuisine Magazine (Bistro-Style Pork Chops)

This is a fantastic recipe when making a meal for two, although there's no doubt you could double or triple the recipe. Just remember, as a general rule with slow cookers, when doubling a recipe you most likely will not need to add any additional liquid to the pot other than the initial recommended amount. Adding more will just make your dish soupy! Here's Cuisine's recipe with my modifications (and name change).

Pork Chops with Brats and Sauerkraut

1 Tbs. olive oil
2 bone-in pork chops (about 1/2"thick and 5-6oz each)
6 oz. cooked, smoked bratwurst, cut into 1" pieces
1 1/2 c. quartered small red potatoes
1 small onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp each kosher salt and pepper
1/2 c. apple juice (I used cider!)
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 c. drained sauerkraut

Brown chops in oil until browned; set aside. Combine brats through thyme in a 1 1/2-2 Qt slow cooker (I used my 4qt). Place chops on top of vegetables; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir together apple juice and vinegar; pour over chops. Cover and cook until chops are tender and nearly falling off the bone- about 2-2.5hrs on high heat or 3-4 on low heat.
Add sauerkraut to cooker, covering chops, cover, and cook an additional 30 minutes on high setting.

***notes: Next time I would use approx. 8 or so oz. of brats as they were a great flavor. Also I will make them with BEER brats for a bit more flavor ooomph. I love sauerkraut, yep straight cold out of the can unrinsed and all, so I cannot be sure the amount I used after doing "a little bit for the dish and a little bit for me" dance. I wouldn't be shy and would add the full can of kraut to the dish- it tastes fabulous. I didn't have apple juice on hand but I did have cider so that substitute was wonderful.***

Reuben Toasts (serve with chops)
2 slices pumpernickle bread
1 Tbs. Thousand Island dressing
shredded Jarlsburg or Swiss Cheese

Toast bread, remove before fully toasted. Spread on dressing and top with cheese. Broil til golden. Cut each piece in half before serving.

On a side note, did you know that sauerkraut is chocked full of incredibly gut-healthy probiotic bacteria from fermentation? It has been known to:
1. help with the pain, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea/constipation of IBS
2. increases immunity
3. provide Vitamin C (sailors used to eat this long ago to beat scurvy and also found that shipmates whose diet consisted of sauerkraut tended to be less inclined to the famously nasty GI symptoms other shipmates had who didn't eat the fermented cabbage).

"One of the main benefits of sauerkraut is that it is rich in vitamin C, enzymes, and lactobacilli (the essential probiotics we’re seeking).  In fact, this is true of any fermented cabbage dish.  It is said to be healthier to eat lactic cabbage than any raw vegetable!  This means the continued benefits of sauerkraut are boosting the immune system and better overall digestion." 

It also provides various cancer-fighting compounds including isothiocyanate and sulphoraphane


  1. Ohh yum! Tasty and healthy. Great food. I love reading Crockpot 'day of a week' as I'd use mine any day - or night.

    Interesting blog. I'll be watching.