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.


Dry Rubs 03 – Coffee Butt Rub

Sounds weird doesn’t it… rubbing coffee on your butt, but, make no mistake, this is one good rub for your butt. Its a somewhat smokey / spicy rub I use to marinate butt or shoulder cuts of pork before turning them into slow roasted pulled pork.

here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/3 Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbs onion powder
  • 1/2 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp  ground red pepper flake
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 3 tbs finely ground dark roasted coffee

mix thoroughly in a large bowl. Apply liberally to the pork and then wrap the pork in plastic wrap and let the rub work its magic in the fridge overnight. Then, remove the pork from the plastic and brush off the rub. Place the pork in a covered roasting pan and slow roast in the oven until done.


Dry Rubs 01 – Dried Herbs

I like to apply different types of seasonings to many things I prepare. I like to think that it’s one of those small changes that can make a big difference to the meals we make. Dry rubs, wet rubs, marinades, sauces, these can change the flavor profile of food. So, when on your third day of chicken from that big weekend sale, it won’t be ‘oh, chicken again’ blah blah, but ‘wow! It’s chicken, again’. So I will share some of my favorite dry rubs this week. I think they are rather simple and easily made… give them a try and enjoy ‘wow, chicken again!’.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ¼ cup dry rosemary
  • ¼ cup course sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons dried garlic flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage

I run the dry rosemary needles through a mortar before adding them into a large mixing bowl. I don’t try to powder them, just crush the needles up a bit. Use the mortar to crack those peppercorns too before tossing them into the bowl. Toss the other dry herbs and salt into the bowl and mix this together thoroughly. Transfer to a jar and store away from light and heat and this should stay fresh for several weeks. If you alter this and use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs, use the rub right away and store the excess in the fridge. This is one of those occasions where dried herbs are better than fresh. This should make about ¾ cup of rub. Apply it to porkchops or chicken before cooking and add a bit of Tuscany to your table.

Dried Herbs Rub

Dried Herbs Rub