On a bored day off my husband and I decided to give ourselves the challenge of making a feast with $20 to spend. The idea was to go to the grocery stores and specialty markets in our area and hunt for something interesting and then make a feast with ingredients that we already had at home.
Towards the end of the afternoon we ended up finding knockwurst, which we'd not seen in awhile, not being as common at the markets as brats. Somehow I wasn't surprised when we ended up going with German cuisine after we'd been viewing Richard's friend McArdle's pictures of Oktoberfest in Cincinnatti.
We ended up spending the rest of our money on some little jars of mustard and horseradish, individual beers, hoagie rolls, and sauerkraut. When we got home I dug through my out of print Time Life Foods of the World: Recipes: The Cooking of Germany that I purchased at the library's most recent book sale. We were supposed to slice the knockwurst up in the recipe, but since we had hoagie rolls and mustard, we only sliced up one and cooked the other four whole. This was indeed a feast when we served it with the sauerkraut as well. The recipe serves six, we halved it, and saved leftovers for a second meal.
- 1 TB caraway seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 6 center cut loin pork chops, cut 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 TB shortening
- 1/2 pound knockwurst, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
- 1 cup coarsely chopped, peeled carrots
- 3 small sweet gherkins (I substituted homemade pickles), drained rinsed in cold water and finely chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 large boiling potatoes (about 1 1/2 LB) peeled and sliced into 1/3 inch rounds
- 6 medium sized tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (I substituted sliced romas from the garden)
- Combine the caraway seeds, salt and pepper, and press the mixture firmly into both sides ofthe pork chops.
- Dip the chops in flour, then shake off the excess.
- In a heavy 12 inch skillet (I used my dutch oven), melt the shortening over high heat until a light haze forms above it.
- Brown the chops for about 5 minutes on each side, turning them with kitchen tongs and regulating the heat so that meat colors quickly and evenely without burning.
- Transfer the chops to a plate and add the knockwurst, onions, carrots, and gherkins to the fat remaining in the skillet.
- Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
- Return the chops to the pan and pour in the stock.
- The stock should come just to the top of the chops without covering them.
- If necessary add more stock or water.
- Arrange the potato slices evenly over the chops, covering them completely and scatter the chopped tomatoes over them.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and cover the skillet.
- Simmer undisturbed for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes and chops show no resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife (I ended up cooking this closer to an hour).
- Serve directly from the skillet.