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.
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