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Vepřo Knedlo Zelo

Vepřo knedlo zelo is the real Czech thing! Pork roast, dumplings, and sauerkraut, you'll find this delicious and comforting food on every Prague restaurant menu.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Czech
Keyword traditional Czech food, vepřové
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (900 g) pork shoulder e.g. pork collar
  • 6 onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp pork lard or vegetable oil – Canola, Sunflower
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds crushed
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • pepper ground
  • water about 3 cups - 720 ml

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 320 °F (160 °C). Cut onion roughly. Peel cloves of garlic and press them.
  • Salt the meat generously. Dust it with pepper and crushed caraway seeds from all sides. Then rub the pressed garlic onto the pork.
  • Grease a roasting pan with lard. Pour the onion over the bottom of the pan. Place the seasoned meat on the onion. Pour in 1 cup of water.
  • Roast the pork uncovered for 2-2.½ hours or until soft. Flip the meat from time to time, that it has a nice brown color over the whole surface. Also, stir the onion occasionally to prevent it from burning. If all the water evaporates, add ⅓ cup more.
  • Transfer roasted meat to a clean plate, cover with foil, and keep it warm.

Making gravy:

  • Place the uncovered roasting pan with onion on the stove over medium heat. Reduce the juices to a necessary minimum. Stir occasionally.
  • Add 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour and fry for 1 minute while stirring, preferably with a flat spatula; you can scrape the bottom of the pan to avoid burning flour.
  • Pour in 2 cups of water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to ⅓ and let the gravy simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the gravy through a sieve—season with pepper and salt to fit your taste.
  • Serve warm: a slice of pork roast, braised sauerkraut, and sliced dumplings. Pour the gravy over the meat and sauerkraut.

Notes

  1. Makes 4 yields.
  2. If the gravy's flavor is not strong enough, pour it into a pan, bring to a boil and reduce the amount of the liquid. You'll boost the taste of the gravy significantly.
  3. The best pork for this dish is pork shoulder. Pork shoulder is marbled with fat and is ideal for slow roasting.
  4. Do not confuse caraway seeds and cumin. Caraway is a typical Czech spice used very often in Czech cuisine.
  5. You can cover the pan with a lid to speed up the cooking at the beginning of roasting. Remove the lid after 30 minutes and allow the roast to get a nice brown crust.