Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Boiled pork with horseradish

Pork is very popular in Austrian cooking and though most of the times it is enjoyed cooked as a roast or as pork chops or schnitzels there is a staple dish where the meat is boiled – Krenfleisch.

The chunk is being boiled with root vegetables. Then the meat is served sliced and accompanied with some of the root vegetables, plain boiled potatoes, some of that wonderful pork broth and is finalized with freshly grated horseradish.

I prefer shoulder or belly from pork, it has a good relation of fat vs. lean meat and I just love that pork skin when boiled. Also fatty meat just gives better soups and this dish is nothing without the soup.

  • 3 lb pork in one piece (shoulder, belly, blade roast)
  • 1 lb root vegetables (carrots, celeriac, hamburg parsley, leeks)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 qt. fresh water
  • around 1 Tablespoon salt
  • optional: 2-3 juniper berries, 2 bay leaves, few peppercorns
  • 6 Tablespoons freshly grated horseradish (Attention: only grate horseradish shortly before dinner, it gets an unsavory color if you let it stand too long.)

In a large soup pot put the meat and water to boil. Let cook for at least one hour or until meat is almost cooked through and tender. Do not salt first as the meat would gain an unnatural, redish color.

In the meantime clean and cut the vegetables and onion and set aside.

When meat is cooked and only needs another 20 minutes to cook add the root vegetables, onion and seasonings. Bring to a boil again and cook for around 20 minutes. Some like the vegetables cooked to soft, others like it still firm, this is totally up to you.

For serving do the following: Slice up the meat to convenient portions. Use a soup plate and put in the meat, add a few plain boiled potatoes, some of the root vegetables and a few spoons of that wonderful broth on top. Now sprinkle with freshly grated horseradish and serve steamingly hot.

Tips: Only grate the horseradish shortly before serving as it gets an unsavory color very soon. If kids are eating spare the horseradish, it is spicy and hot. When grating horseradish be careful, it might take your breath away. You could serve a soup as starter because naturally you will gain quite a lot of soup from that huge joint of meat. If you have any meat leftovers make a Tiroler Groestl the next day.

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