Serves 6 to 8


This dish is a holiday staple for my family. It’s easy, filled with flavor and can be made ahead. Good quality sauerkraut is important here. Try to buy it in an Eastern European market if you can. At the very least, buy the bagged (not canned) variety in the grocery store.


  • 3 pounds sauerkraut
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pound piece boneless pork butt, cut into 2 to 3 inch chunks
  • 1 pound thinly sliced bone-in smoked pork chops
  • 8 ounces slab bacon, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ pound smoked pork sausages, such as kielbasa, cut into 2 to 3 inch chunks
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Put the sauerkraut in a colander. Rinse and toss under cold running water for a minute to remove excess saltiness.

Put the sauerkraut in a large Dutch oven and add 4 cups cold water. Nestle the pork butt, smoked chops and slab bacon in the sauerkraut. Add the bay leaves, thyme, olive oil, and garlic. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is tender, about 1 ½ hours.

Uncover and add the smoked pork sausages and simmer 30 minutes.

Increase the heat to boil away any excess liquid, about 5 minutes, you want it to be slightly saucy but not dry.

Season well with black pepper before serving.