KASSELER RIPPENSPEER
(German Roasted Smoked Pork Loin)
Meat is the cornerstone of German cooking, and the Braten, or roast, os Germany's national dish. Like our Americna roses, the Braten may be cooked in an oven or may be cooked with a little liquid in a tightly covered pot on top of the stove. The most popular and widely used meat nationwide is pork, fresh or cured. There are dozens of ways to cook it, all of them good. The glory of cured pork is this rosy Kasseler Rippenspeer, often served resting on a bed of sauerkraut cooked with apples, or with peas, white beans, chestnuts, or roast potatoes and mushrooms. Central Germans claim that its birthplace was the Hessian town of Kassel; Berliners insist that it was invested in their city by a butcher named Kassel in his now-legendary shop at Postdamertstrasse 15. Either way, Kasseler Rippenspeer has earned its place as an all-German favorite
Recipe By : Time-Life "Cooking of Germany"
Serves 6

2 tablespoons lard or shortening
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
1 3-1/2 to 4 lb. smoked pork loin, in one piece, with backbone sawed thru every 1/2", but left attached and tied to loin in 2-3 places
4 whole juniper berries, coarsely crushed
4 cups cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy large skillet, met lard or shortening over moderate heat. Add onions and carrots and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and lihgt brown. Transfer entire contents of skillet to a heavy casserole or roasting pan just large enough to hold the pork comfortably. Place the pork loin, fat side up, on top of the vegetables and strew the crushed juniper berries around the pork. Pour in the 4 cups water; roast uncovered in the middle of the oven, basint occasionally with pan juices, 1-1/2 hours, or until pork is golden brown and registers 175 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Cut away strings and carve pork into 1/2" thick chops; arrange slightly overlapping on a large heated platter. Tent with foil and set aside.

Strain pan juices into a bowl, pressing down on vegetables before discarding them. Skim off as much fat as possible; measure the juices. If there is more than 1-1/2 cups, boil briskly over high heat until reduced to that amount. If there is less, add water. Bring juices to a boil; stir cornstarch mixture into juices. Cook, Stirring constantly, until sauce clears and thickens slightly. Moisten meat slices with a few spoonfuls of sauce and serve the rest in a heated sauceboat. Serve on a mound of sauerkraut.

Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved