Kassler with sauerkraut; boiled potatoes with breadcrumbs

I just now realized what’s really missing in this picture, if not so much in the meal itself. Chopped Parsley (see an earlier version of the dinner). I sometimes forget that parsley (Petersilie) is very much a part of German cuisine, and it would be completely appropriate to find a bit of that herb on the top of this chop. I’ll pretend it’s there, and note here that the herb that can be seen above is a large bay leaf lying at the top right, already having done its thing inside the Bavarian Sauerkraut.

We accompanied the meal with the third act of ‘Die Walküre‘. It seemed seemly.

  • one 16-ounce glass jar of sauerkraut (simply cabbage and salt) from Millport Dairy Farm, drained and very well-rinsed in several changes of cold water, drained again and placed inside a large, heavy, tin-lined copper sauté pan with one chopped red onion from Phillips Farm (I was out of yellow, which would have been the more conventional ingredient), one Honey Crisp apple from Locust Grove Orchards, 8 or 9 whole juniper berries and about the same number of Tellicherry peppercorns, a little salt, 1 large Sicilian bay leaf from Buon Italia, enough water to almost cover the sauerkraut, with more added later on as needed, all brought to a boil, simmered over a low flame, stirring occasionally, for less than half an hour, covered, and then uncovered for 20 or 30 minutes, after which two 9-ounce smoked pork chops from Schaller & Weber, first dried and briefly seared on both sides inside a dry cast iron pan, were buried in the sauerkraut and heated for about 20 minutes, the chops and sauerkraut arranged on 2 plates

I didn’t bring it onto the table this time, but a good German-style mustard should probably have been served on the side.

  • three Carola potatoes from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, scrubbed, boiled unpeeled in heavily-salted water until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried in the still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, a couple tablespoons of rich Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter [with 12 grams of fat per 14 grams, or each tablespoon of butter; American butter almost always has only 11grams, which makes a surprising difference in taste and texture], after which the potatoes were arranged on the plates next to the chops and the sauerkraut, sprinkled with homemade breadcrumbs which had first been browned in a little butter
  • the wine was an Austrian (Kremstal) white, Steinig Grüner Veltliner Austria 2015, from Chelsea Wine Vault
  • the music was the third act of the ‘second day’ of Richard Wagner’s 1856 ‘Bühnenfestspiel‘, otherwise known as ‘Die Walküre‘, Sir Georg Solti conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with some magnificent soloistsHelga Dernesch, Hans Hotter, Birgit Nilsson, Brigitte Fassbaender, Berit Lindholm, Claudia Hellman, Helen Watts, Vera Little, Vera Schlosser, Christa Ludwig, Marilyn Tyler, Régine Crespin, Gottlob Frick, and James King, in a 1965 recording, part of a Ring series that remains a ‘benchmark‘ today, one of the most perfect performances – and recordings – of any opera, ever (fortunately it’s Wagner, and it’s one of his best) [we had listened to the first two acts the day before]