Roast pork shoulder and sauerkraut with potato dumplings (Kopytka) are a comfort food lover’s dream. While it might seem complicated making your own dumplings, I promise it’s not. I first ran across this recipe when I was talking with my mother-in-law Dolores about her mother’s plum dumplings. We were wondering if they were Czechoslovakian or Polish, and when searching for Polish dumplings this video popped up. My mom made these dumplings a few times but she typically made them on top of the chicken as a chicken and dumpling. I watched the video and thought I can make these dumplings and put them on top of a pork shoulder with sauerkraut, which is one of my favorite fall dishes
I started growing cabbage in my Ely Hilltop Garden specifically so I could make my own sauerkraut. I bought the cabbage plants at Ely Flower and Seed and started them in the ground right around Memorial Day. Other than watching for slugs (they love Cabbage) the growing process is pretty easy. I get 4 big heads (one on each plant) and if I cut them in July I can typically get a few smaller heads in late fall on the same plants.
I bought vintage Mason Jars from Potluck Kitchen Ware Store. They have everything you need there for fermenting, pickling, and canning. I also bought the Dutch Oven I made the Roast Pork Shoulder recipe in there. All Season they are picking up beautiful cast iron pans, dutch ovens, skillets, cornbread molds, and pots. Potluck also has a great vintage cookbook selection and these are always fun to pursue dumpling recipes as well as hot dishes and baked goods. I never knew what Oleo was until I saw it in some of my vintage church cookbooks. The local Ben Franklin Hardware is also stocked seasonally with Mason Jars and Canning and Pickling supplies. Once I had all my cookware I was ready to get started!
I used a sauerkraut recipe I found in a cookbook called “Ferment Your Vegetables” after watching the author, Amanda Feifer’s Instagram feed @Phicklefoods. Her book is really fun and teaches you how to ferment all kinds of things like radishes, kimchee, zucchini, and cucumbers. I used a simple salt rub for my sauerkraut and added a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, as I like it a little hot.
If making your own sauerkraut isn’t your jam you can find organic sauerkraut at natural food stores, like Organic Roots Bistro on Chapman Street in Ely. They have all the alternative flours and organic goods there as well as soups and sandwiches in their deli made fresh each day. It’s a great stop before you head out to the Bass Lake Trail for a picnic in Ely. Zup’s, the local grocer also makes their own Sauerkraut and it’s really good smothered on their world-renowned Polish Delight smoked sausages.
Have a great fall and make sure to visit all your favorite trails and stores in Ely. Find maps, information on events in town, and all of the scheduled activities for Fall and Winter at ElyMN.
Pork Shoulder Roast
- 5-7 lb pork Shoulder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 4 cups sauerkraut with juices, homemade or store-bought
Kopytka (potato dumplings)
- 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup preserved horseradish
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Kosher salt to taste
- Saute the onions in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the thyme, salt, pepper while sautéing.
- Add the apple cider to deglaze the pan.
- Remove from the heat and add the sauerkraut and its juices.
- Add 1 cup of chicken broth to keep the braising liquid about at the top of the
- You will nestle the seasoned roast in the pot on top of the sauerkraut for cooking.
Pork Shoulder Roast
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- Rub roast with seasonings on all sides and set aside while you prepare the sauerkraut.
- Once the sauerkraut is prepared nestle roast inside the Dutch oven, fat side up. Score the fat cap with hash marks.
- Cover roast and cook fat side up for 6 hours or until the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees F.
- Make horseradish cream (instructions below)
- When the roast is done hoist it out of the Dutch oven with two spatulas and place it on a platter.
- Start boiling your potatoes for your dumplings.
- Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Remove fat cap, if desired, or leave it if it is crispy and tent the roast to keep warm.
- Depending on how fatty your roast is you may want to de-fat the braising liquid left in the roasting pot as this is where you are going to cook your dumplings. If you see large pools of fat on top of the braising liquid, skim them off with a ladle.
- If your mixture seems dry and like all the liquid has been reduced, add another cup or two of chicken broth until the mixture seems juicy and the braising liquid is about at the top of the sauerkraut again.
- Prepare to add the dumplings to your pot, and while they are cooking slice your roast.
- Blend all ingredients until combined. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors meld.
Kopytka (potato dumplings)
- Peel and boil the potatoes in salted water until they are tender.
- Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool. If they are not cool, they may become gummy in the food processor.
- Process the potatoes in your food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Add 3/4 cup of flour, egg, corn starch and salt. Process until the ingredients are combined, around 30 seconds more. Add more flour, if necessary until the mixture becomes a soft dough consistency.
- Flour your working surface, transfer the dough to the surface, and knead the dough until it is smooth and pliable.
- Cut a small chunk of the dough and, using your hands, roll it out into a "snake" that is about 1 inch thick.
- Cut the rolled-out dough on a diagonal into approximately 1/2 inch pieces.
- Transfer your Kopytka to the Dutch oven full of sauerkraut that you have defatted and lay them all over the top, making sure you have enough liquid left in the pot for them to steam in.
- Cover and place in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve steamed dumplings alongside the sliced pork shoulder with the sauerkraut and serve with horseradish cream on the side.