Sometimes all we want in this miserable weather is a bowl of comforting, steaming soup. No mess, no fuss, only smoky porky goodness. This soup incorporates all the flavours you can expect and love when craving Eisbein, the potatoes, the smoky pork and of course… the sauerkraut. The only thing you might miss is the mustard. I would not really go as far as saying it’s a ‘missing’ flavour though, as the addition of a good dollop of sour cream more than justifies itself and adds a subtle creaminess I would not even consider leaving out. If you are a die-hard mustard lover, why not add some mustard croutons, or even mix some mustard into the sour cream topping! This soup was greeted with a good amount of skepticism when I verbalized the idea during its conception phase, but after tasting it, no trace remained, as empty as bowl it was served in.
SEASONAL INGREDIENTS: CABBAGE, CARROTS AND CELERY
1.6 – 1.8kg Eisbein (2 medium to large smoked shanks)
1 pack bacon/pancetta (250g)
5 cups good quality chicken stock (try Nomu)
4 cups water
3 allspice berries
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried/fresh sage, chopped
2 cups sauerkraut, plus around 6 tablespoons juice
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2/3 carrots, minced
3 stalks celery, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup fresh cabbage, shredded thin
Place the pork in a large pot with the chicken stock, water, allspice, bay leaves, and sage. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for about 2 hours. Remove the pork and set aside on a plate to cool.
In a pan, sautee the onion in some olive oil and add the sugar to dissolve. Add the bacon/pancetta and sautee till cooked through.
Add the potato, carrots, celery, onions and bacon, sauerkraut and cabbage to the meat stock and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Meanwhile, shred or pull the pork apart. Discard the fat. Add the pork to the soup and simmer for 10-15 more minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and add the sauerkraut juice.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!