Kassler Rippchen and/in sauerkraut

dinner, 3/9/12

My ancient copy of Mimi Sheraton’s The German Cookbook comes to the table again:  I had brought home two beautiful smoked pork chops (Kassler Rippchen) from John of  Lancaster County’s Millport Dairy stall at the Union Square Greenmarket two days before, and the contents of our larder at home pointed me to how I should serve them.  I already had a bag of sauerkraut, some great potatoes, a medium onion and one green-ish apple (all but the cabbage picked up on earlier trips to the Greenmarket), so the solution seemed obvious.  It would be Kassler Rippchen and sauerkraut.  The only question would be what wine to accompany it, and the Austrian light-to-medium red we had on hand was an excellent, if perhaps unusual choice.

  • Kassler Rippchen, in this case meaning two excellent smoked pork chops from Lancaster County’s Millport Dairy, seared very quickly over a very hot flame, then placed in a 375º oven, near the end of the 45-minute cooking time for its other contents (the pork, smoked and ripened in a salt brine, does not have to be ‘cooked’ any further itself), inside a covered casserole which had begun with a mixture one chopped Gold Rush apple from Phillips Farm and one chopped onion, lightly-sautéed, half a pound of rinsed sauerkraut, also briefly-sautéed after the apple and onion, and in the same pot, and half a pound of small thickly-sliced (un-peeledBintje potatoes from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, the mix moistened with a bit of good chicken stock and a bit of dry white wine
  • wine:  Austrian, Rose Schuster Zweigelt Classic 2009 Burgenland from Astor Wines