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Pork Ground Sausage with Red Sauerkraut (OK for Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free)

March 21, 2016

This is one of my favorite ground pork recipes. It only takes about fifteen minutes to make in a pan. The recipe calls for making the pork into patties, but I changed that to either ground pork, or baking it as a meatloaf shape.

I use this meatloaf sliced as a snack (meat bar, anyone?) with mustard, sliced cooked butternut, in wraps, or cut up into impromptu soups. It’s very versatile.

This Homemade Sausage Patties recipe comes from Epicurious.com, the online version of the Gourmet cookbook, which I own and stain regularly. The pork becomes warm and roasted tasting with spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, sage. Yummm… so good!

People following Paleo, GAPS and SCD diets will need to omit the breadcrumbs. The meatloaf will be a little wet without the wheat crumbs, but that’s ok (see below for coconut flour instructions). I trim off gelled juices around the loaf before serving. (Sorry – can’t do the thickeners. Avoid thickeners except coconut flour for GAPS Diet recipes, SCD Diet recipes, and Paleo Diet recipes.)

When making the pan version for GAPS diet, SCD diet and Paleo Diet followers, I usually omit the cayenne (because it can irritate the stomach, and aggravate leaky gut conditions), 2 egg yolks, breadcrumbs and milk. Black pepper works for some people, too, but not all. It gives the recipe a nice kick, if you can tolerate it. Remember to use coconut oil or animal fat (grass-fed preferred) in place of the vegetable oil listed. (Read about why here: Six Sources of Healthier Fats and Why You Care (about Omega 3 & 6’s)

The ground pork (pan) version goes well with a little bok choi or swiss chard. You might need to simmer and stir the meat a little longer to soften the greens. I usually add the white bok choi stems first, and follow a few minutes later with the green tops.

Winter squash pieces also work well (raw or cooked. If using raw squash, add more liquid (broth preferably), and cover to simmer for a few minutes.)

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Ground Pork, Pan-Fried, adapted from an Epicurious.com recipe. Served with fermented red sauerkraut with garlic.

If you are making the meatloaf version, you could leave the eggs in to better bind the meat. Bake the meat until  it reaches 160F.

If you want to add liquid and binder, you could add some coconut/nut milk with coconut flour. (How to substitute with coconut flour – Usually one uses 1/3 or 1/4 of the amount of wheat/flour required. The recipe asks for 1/2 cup (or 8 TB) of breadcrumbs. So you would probably use 2-3TB. The liquid amount would stay the same. Coconut flour is very absorbent and fibrous.)

Serve topped with red sauerkraut (below) for an extra antioxidant and probiotic boost.

Red Sauerkraut Recipe with Garlic
Takes 3-10 days to ferment.
It helps to have fermenting weights to push down the cabbage. They are often glass or untreated porcelain. Other kits (like one with a beer-making “air stop gap”) come with a metal cup that is placed between the lid and the cabbage, to keep it pressed down. You can buy these online at fermenting stores.

Thoroughly clean one jar, lid and wooden spoon with hot soapy water. Let dry on a clean towel, placing the jar upside down. This lessens the chance that you will be growing other bacteria than the cabbage’s. Normally the good bacteria that you want to grow is already on the cabbage from the field. Then you ferment it under water, meaning its aerobic (doesn’t need air). If its touching air, you will get mold. Try to avoid this. I have heard its OK to take mold off the top if its just a little, but I have no data here. Please use your own best judgement.

Slice one whole, small red cabbage thinly, saving 2 large 3-4″ pieces to top the jar over the cut cabbage. Sprinkle on 1-1.5 TB sea salt as you add the cabbage to a bowl. Massage and stir the cabbage, trying to work the salt in. Let it sit to release juices.

Mince 1 clove garlic (1/2 if they are large). Add to the bowl.

You can also open a powdered probiotic capsule into the bowl. This means you will be growing the probiotic blend in addition to the one(s) on the cabbage.

Mix it and massage it more, to get the cabbage to release the juice. Then pack it tightly into a jar. Put some in and press it down repeatedly with the clean wooden spoon, until you reach 1.5″ from the top. Cover with the large cabbage pieces, then fermenting weights or a glass dish, if you have them.

Now we add brine (salt water) to cover the cabbage. This is so it will ferment without the air, and grow the bacteria that you want, not mold. The salt stops the growth of bad bacteria until the ones you want have grown enough to keep the baddies at bay.

Mix sea salt with water until you have a slightly salty tasting brine. (Remember that there is salt already on the cabbage in the jar.) Fill the jar to within 1/2-1″ from the top. Cover loosely with a lid. (Loosely because the fermentation can cause pressure on the jar.) You might tip it over once or twice, and then taste the brine liquid (with a clean, just-washed spoon). It should be pretty salty, not hardly salty. (Sorry I can’t be more specific here– salt meter, anyone?)

Place your jar on a bowl or deep plate to catch liquid that will leak out. Then place in a cool place, out of the sun, for 3-7 days, or longer. You can taste it each day to see if its ready. It will soften more the longer you leave it. Apparently the green cabbage sauerkrauts are fermented in porcelain crocks for 4-6 months!

It will take shorter in warm weather than in cool. If you’re in a warm summer place you might put it into a cooler pantry or basement.

When you feel its ready, you can remove the weights and large cabbage “stoppers” and eat it immediately. I like to place wax paper between the jar and metal lids, or the salt can corrode it. Store in the fridge to slow down, but not stop, the fermentation process.

For your next batch, you could add some of this batch’s liquid to the new one. This will transfer the good taste and bacteria.

That’s it, enjoy!

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