For the pork loin, pressure cooker method:
In a pressure cooker set on high heat, brown the pork in the oil on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Add about 6 cups water or broth so there is about 1 1/2 inches. For larger roasts, add 1/2-inch more liquid per pound. Pressure cook until the pork is extremely tender and falling apart, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (This is important to the dish.) Remove the meat from the pot and reserve the juices.
For the pork loin, oven method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Pierce the pork with a knife and insert the slices of garlic different parts of the roast. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy cast iron pot over high heat. Sear the pork until brown. Add the beef broth and vermouth (this will also deglaze the pan) and cover the pot with a lid. Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the pork is pink and juicy inside but not dry and gray, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Be sure to periodically check your roast, as you want the roast to be pink and juicy inside, not dry and gray. Remove the meat from the pot and reserve the juices.
Combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water. Slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the pan juices to thicken the juices so they will stick to the pork and dumplings. (However, Grandma and Grandpa preferred the traditional thinner juice.)
For the potato dumplings:
While the meat is cooking, prepare the dumplings. Place a pot of water to boil.
Place the potato flakes in a large bowl. Place the milk, butter and 2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Pour the potato mixture over the potato flakes and whip with a fork until smooth. Let cool.
Add the eggs to the potatoes and mix well. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until a dough forms, adding more flour if needed.
Turn the dough out onto a floured bread board and knead in more flour until the dough is stiff and doesn't stick to your hands. Break off small pieces and form into flat balls, drop into rapidly boiling water. Bring back to a boil and cook 10 to 15 minutes. Cut 1 and if it isn't sticky inside, they are done.
For the sauerkraut:
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the onion and cook until transparent. Add the sauerkraut, vermouth, beef bouillon to taste, caraway seeds to taste, salt (not much) and pepper. Simmer until the flavors meld, 30 to 45 minutes. Serve along side the pork.
This was usually done homestyle. Place some pork, a dumpling (cut into hearty, bit-size pieces) and some sauerkraut on a plate. Then pass and spoon or drizzle some of the reserved meat juices over the pork and dumplings--this ties everything all together and gives you a forkful of flavor in each bite.
There you have it: hearty, stick-to-your-ribs pork, dumplings and sauerkraut--an excellent dish on a cold, frosty night!
Browning the pork first, and then pressure cooking it, is the key to this dish because that's where all the flavor comes from. If you have more people - say 8 - mix potatoes for 8 and add more flour; for 10 or more, add 3 eggs and more flour.
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.
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