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Rustic Winter Stew
From Eat Feed Autumn Winter, by Anne Bramley

In the depths of winter, sauerkraut is the best "in season" vegetable going, and pairing it with pork is an Eastern European classic. Even better, in this dish, the richness of sour cream and the spark of paprika provide the perfect foil to the tang of sauerkraut. This recipe has been tweaked and transformed over the past decade from a dish in Molly O'Neill's New York Times magazine column. I don't know whether it was the cold Chicago winters or the grad student budget that kept bringing more tomato and sauerkraut into the mix.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2-1/2 pounds pork shoulder trimmed off excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp paprika
1 cup beef broth
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 cups drained sauerkraut (do not rinse)
8 ounces sour cream
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Heat the butter in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the pork and stir to brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the flour and all the paprika over pork and stir until coated, cooking for another minute. Slowly add the beef broth while stirring. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, caraway seeds, tomato sauce, and sauerkraut. Bring back to a simmer. Cover and cook for an additional 45 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Slowly stir into the stew. Simmer, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes, until stew is the desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: Serves 6 as a main course; 10 for tasting

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