That’s a mouthful! A chef I used to work for in Edmonton, Alberta at Culina’s used to feature these fabulous German style smoked pork chops as a special from time to time. I’m not sure if the influence came from being in a long term relationship with a German Lady or if it was purely because they are salty and smoky delicious, take no time to cook (they are already cooked, just need to be warmed up) and are big crowd pleasers.
With all of that going for them it’s hard to believe that I hadn’t bothered to make them earlier. This is indeed my first time making them so I wanted to keep it relatively simple. A sweet and tart sauce to balance out the salty and smoky aspects of the meat and a flavorful mash that can stand up to the big flavors of the 2 previously mentioned.
Some specifics about the recipes:
To start, I’d like to mention that any potato would work fine and actually using a more starchy potato such as a russet may work better, but I am using what I have. Also, I’m using a blended organic fruit spread made by Crofter’s called Superfruit. The Spread I’m using has Morello cherries, black currants and pomegranates. Use what ever you have, whether that be pure cherry jam, a blend or puree some canned black cherries.
The Kassler style pork will vary depending on the butcher you choose to use. The saltiness can greatly differ from a horses salt lick all the way to a very mild salt flavor. It may take a couple tries to find the right salt balance that works for your taste buds.
As for the beer I used, I’m sure many varieties would work but I would stay clear of flavorless, cheap beers, Budweiser, Coor’s, and Canadian. Choose a big robust beer that can stand up to smoky pork and cherries. If your not sure what I mean, many liquor stores have knowledgeable clerks that can help you choose a good option. Many liquor stores also carry single beers, so you don’t need to by more than one. I chose a hoppy IPA which is a British Style India Pale Ale that has an assertive hoppy aroma and a dry finish. Even a porter would stand up nicely with the cherries.
As for the potatoes, if you choose to use a russet potato you’ll want to peel it first. The white potatoes have a delicate skin which we actually enjoy, so I leave it on. You can hand mash the potatoes for a rustic feel or use an emulsion blender or beater to whip them up to the desired consistency. As for the salt and pepper to taste aspect, you’ll want to lean more on the pepper side than the salty side since the pork is typically heavily salted. You’ll need to judge this step according to your tastes. Your family can always add more later, but it’s not as easy to take out!
Kassler Pork Loin Chops with a Pear Cherry Sauce and Celeriac Mash
- 2 cups chopped celeriac
2 cups chopped white potatoes
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Milk (more is needed)
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove the top and the skin of the celeriac using a sharp knife. Wash well before cutting and after cutting to eliminate any chance of dirt particles ending up in your food. Chop appx 2 potatoes into equal sized pieces as the celeriac to keep an even cooking time. In a large pot, add the celeriac cubes with the potatoes and add enough water to cover all the vegetables. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Approx 20 minutes, depending on the size of the cubed vegetables. Once they are tender, drain the water. Add the butter and the milk and mash by hand, an emulsion blender or beater, depending on your preference and what you have on hand for kitchen tools. Each technique will give a unique texture. Add more milk if needed and salt and pepper to taste.
Pear and Cherry IPA Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups of chopped tart pear or 2 medium sized green pears
2 leeks, white only
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cups IPA Beer
1/2 cup cherry jam
Salt to taste
Clean the leeks well and using the white part only cut into thin slices. Mince 2 garlic cloves. In a large skillet or pot with a lid, set over medium heat. Add the oil and cook the leeks and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender. If using an electric stove it often takes longer than a gas stove. Add the pear and beer. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil until the pears have softened. If the lid doesn’t fit well, you may need to add a little water. My pears weren’t very ripe and took 20 minutes to cook until tender. All the beer had evaporated. Add the jam and cook for a few minutes, stirring until the jam or fruit spread is completely incorporated into the sauce. The spread I used was not very sweet at all. It was big on fruit but light on the sugar if that makes sense. If you end up using a jam with a lot of sugar added, you may need to add salt to balance out the flavors. Since neither my pears or fruit spread were sweet, no salt was required.
4 Kassler Pork Loin Chops
Heat the BBQ or Grill to medium high. Place the chops on the grill and cook for 5 minutes per side (note: we’re just heating them through). Serve with a helping of mash, veggies and a spoonful of this sinful pear and berry sauce.
Serve with your choice of veggies. We kept it simple by cooking the asparagus on the grill at the same time as the chops.