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- 2 pounds pork shanks, ham hocks, or pigs' feet
- 1 quart water
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 sprig parsley or ¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 pound sauerkraut
- 2 cups meat broth, bouillon, or meat stock
- 8 to 12 ounces bacon or smoked link sausage, diced (optional)
- ¼ cup raisins or 2 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 3 tablespoons lard or margarine (at room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Cook pork shanks in water in a 5-quart kettle 20 minutes. Skim off foam.
- Add onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, and parsley. Cook about 45 minutes, or until meat is tender.
- Remove meat from broth. Strain broth; return to kettle.
- Remove meat from bones; discard skin and bones. Dice meat.
- Rinse sauerkraut with cold water; drain.
- Add sliced meat, drained sauerkraut, beef broth, and if desired, bacon and raisins to kettle. Simmer 1 hour.
- Mix lard and flour to a smooth paste; stir into simmering soup.
- Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Mix in salt and pepper.
- Serve with plain boiled potatoes or potato dumplings, if desired.