Crackling Dumplings on Fried Sauerkraut ▶
In today’s health-conscious world we sometimes lose track of traditional dishes which may not be politically correct, but which are delicious. Christian Domschitz’ dumplings are filled with the crisp bits left from rendering pork belly fat, then deep-fried in bacon fat and garnished with fried sauerkraut, fried onions, and reduced pork stock.
- Pork Belly Fat - Two pieces, approximately 12 inches by 2 inches by 3/4 inches
- Potato Dumpling Dough
- Baking Potatoes - 3, large, boiled and peeled
- Semolina Flour - 1 cup
- All-Purpose Flour - 1-3/4 cup
- Egg - 1
- Melted Butter - 1/4 cup
- Nutmeg - 1/4 teaspoon, grated
- Salt - 1-1/4 teaspoon
- Crackling Mixture
- Bacon Grease - 1/4 cup
- Onion - 1, diced
- Garlic Clove - 1, minced
- Cracklings - 1 cup (rendered, above)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fried Onions
- Bacon Grease - 1/4 cup
- Onions - 2, sliced very thin
- Fried Sauerkraut
- Bacon grease and lard for deep-fat frying
- Sauerkraut - 2 cups, washed and drained
- Scallions - 2, green part only, minced
To render the cracklings: Cut the fat into large cubes. Place in a large pan over low heat and render the fat until the liquid covers the cubes. Drain off the fat. Return the cubes to the heat and render again until the liquid fat covers the cubes. Drain again. Continue this process until the cracklings are browned and crisp, usually two or three times. Place the cracklings in a press or in a colander or sieve and press until the cracklings have no more liquid. Approximately 1 cup of brown cracklings should remain after this process. The lard rendered in the process may be strained and kept refrigerated to be used for other dishes.
To make the dough: Pass the potatoes through a sieve. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until it comes together. Turn the dough out onto an unfloured work surface. Knead until the dough is smooth and holds together. Form into a large ball and cover with plastic wrap; let rest.
To prepare the crackling mixture: Heat the bacon fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute until softened and translucent, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add the cracklings and cook until crisp and brown. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and turn out onto a plate at let cool slightly.
To make the pork glaze: Heat the stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Put into a squeeze bottle.
To fry the onions: Heat the bacon fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and fry until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To fry the sauerkraut: Pat the sauerkraut dry. Heat the bacon fat and lard in a deep-fat fryer or deep pan until it ripples. Add one fourth of the sauerkraut and fry until crisp, about 1 minute. Remove and drain. Repeat with remaining sauerkraut, allowing the fat to come back to temperature between batches.
To make the dumplings: Form the cracklings into 12 balls, pressing tightly. Cut the dough ball in half. Roll out half until about 1/8-inch thick. Cut a slice large enough to wrap a crackling ball and wrap around, pressing to seal and smooth. Repeat to wrap all crackling balls.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put the dumplings in the water and cook until they rise to the surface, about 6 minutes. Let simmer one more minute, then remove with a slotted spoon or wire lifter and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Place three dumplings together in the center of each serving plate. Put two clusters of sauerkraut on each plate. Top the dumplings with fried onions and sprinkle chopped scallions over the plates. Drizzle with pork glaze.