Pork Shoulder Kapusniak

The snow keeps piling up outside and there’s nothing like a nice warm bowl of soup. Traditional comfort food for warming you up after a day of shoveling. Well, this soup is a modification of my friend’s grandmother’s Polish Kapusniak. It’s a hearty soup traditionally made with pork spare ribs and sauerkraut. I make mine with less expensive chunks of pork shoulder and non pickled sauerkraut (as known as cabbage). I like to get the pork shoulder chunks with a good percentage of fat to meat, but if the pork you get is a bit on the lean side, you can add a few rashers of bacon. So…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage shredded
  • 3 large carrots cut in chunks
  • 2 rings of celery cut in chunks
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 large Long Island potatoes
  • 8 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 quarts of water

In a large dutch oven braise the pork over a medium heat. Once a good deal of fat has been rendered, deglaze with a little water. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute for a few minutes. Add the cabbage and the potatoes. Start pouring in the water and turning down the heat to low. Add the tomato paste, paprika, salt and pepper.

Let the soup cook on the low heat for two hours. This gives all the ingredients time to meld, and starches from the potatoes ill help to thicken the soup. Ladle this into nice big bowls, and serve with fresh pumpernickel bread. Then watch the snow outside.


Smoked Pork Pea Soup

I’m often asked by friends of mine “what the heel do you do with those”, when I’m out scouring ingredients from the market. This happened most recently when a friend of mine and I were shopping over at Cherry Valley market. While perusing the meat section I happened to find some rather meaty smoked pork neck bones. “What the hell do you do with those” she asked.
“Well”, I said “soup! You can throw just about anything into a soup”.
It’s true. I think that smoked pork adds a good deal of heartiness to what would otherwise be a bland pea soup. And with the snow falling in sheet around here, a hot bowl of pea soup with fresh buttered bread is certainly called for.
Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  2 ½ pounds of smoke pork neck bones
  •  1 lb bag of split green peas
  •  2 carrots diced
  •  2 ribs of celery diced
  •  1 large onion diced
  •  Salt

Firstly, boil the pork bones until the meat falls neatly off the bones. Shred the meat and discard the bones. In a large soup pot combine the meat and diced carrots, celery and onion, along with the one pound bag of green split peas. Add eight to ten cups of water and salt, then bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook another hour and a half, stirring occasionally.
Once the soup thickens up, it’s ready to be ladled out and served up with plenty of bread and butter. Now enjoy by the window and watch the snow.


Purely Powdered Pancakes

Here’s another use for those storm supplies. The powdered milk, the powdered eggs, and other staples squirreled away in the ‘hurricane supply box’. By mixing the dry ingredients in the following list in a plastic quart container, you can keep it in the pantry ahead of time. Using a sharpie to mark the outside of the container for the water line, you can make batter quick and easy.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. powdered egg
  • ½ cup powdered milk
  • 1 ¼ cup water


As mentioned, combine all the dry ingredients. Mix them together thoroughly. Add water and whisk the batter till smooth. Ladle out on to a hot griddle and wait for the magical bubbling, flip, and cook a minute more. Then add each to the stack. To keep with the theme, you could top with powdered sugar.