WHAT IS VEPŘO KNEDLO ZELO?
Literally translated, vepřo knedlo zelo is an abbreviation for Czech roast pork, dumplings, and sauerkraut. This trio is served warm on one plate, poured with flavorful gravy.
Going into details, it’s a slowly roasted piece of pork shoulder, bountifully spiced with crushed garlic and caraway seeds. Sliced bread dumplings and braised sauerkraut are served as a side dish. The gravy is made from juices and fat, remaining in a pan after roasting the meat.
In this post, you’ll learn how to make pork roast (vepřo). Here you’ll find separate recipes for BREAD DUMPLINGS (knedlo) and BRAISED SAUERKRAUT (zelo).
Tip: Sometimes this Czech national dish is called knedlo vepřo zelo – the names of the individual components are placed in a different order.
Here is what you need for the VEPŘO part of this recipe:
Pork shoulder; roasted in one piece. I used a pork collar (krkovice in Czech).
Onions; peeled and chopped finely
Cloves of garlic; peeled and pressed
Pork lard; or vegetable oil like canola or sunflower
Caraway seeds; crushed – do not confuse caraway with cumin; caraway is a spice used frequently in Czech gastronomy
All-purpose flour; to thicken the gravy
Salt, ground pepper
Water; as much as you need, about 3 cups – 720 ml
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 320 °F (160 °C). Cut onion roughly. Peel cloves of garlic and press them.
STEP 2: Salt the meat generously. Dust it with pepper and crushed caraway seeds from all sides. Then rub the pressed garlic onto the pork.
STEP 3: 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.
STEP 4: 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.
STEP 5: Transfer roasted meat to a clean plate, cover with foil and keep it warm.
STEP 6: Place the uncovered roasting pan with onion on the stove over medium heat. Reduce the juices to a necessary minimum, stir occasionally.
STEP 7: Add 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour and fry for 1 minute while stirring, preferably with a flat spatula; it helps you scrape the bottom of the pan to avoid burning flour.
STEP 8: 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.
STEP 9: Strain the gravy through a sieve—season with pepper and salt to fit your taste.
If the gravy’s flavor is not strong enough, pour it into a pan, bring it to a boil and reduce the amount of the liquid. You’ll boost the taste of the gravy significantly.
Our task now is to arrange a slice of roasted pork, braised sauerkraut, and sliced dumplings on a plate nicely. Here we go.
Let’s start with sauerkraut. Place 2-3 Tbsp of warm braised sauerkraut (ZELO) on the side of a plate.
Add slices of bread dumplings (KNEDLO). Arrange them along the edge, partly covering each other.
Cut pork roast (VEPŘO) in about ½-inch slices, add one or two slices on a plate, with a crust side up.
Pour the gravy over the pork roast and braised sauerkraut.
Enjoy your meal with lovely Czech beer!
If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you travel to Czech Republic
spotted in www.cooklikeczechs.com
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