Stir together 400g of minced pork, 3 small gherkins, chopped, 1 tsp of capers, 4 spring onions, 2 tsps of smooth French mustard and 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup. Add salt and black pepper, then shape into 12 small balls and set aside to chill in the fridge.
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring 600ml of vegetable stock to the boil. Put 500g of cooked beetroot through a grater to give long, matchstick-sized pieces. Stir the beetroot into the stock and season generously with black pepper and a little salt.
In a shallow pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil, then fry the pork balls for 5 or 6 minutes until they are golden brown, cover them with a lid, then continue cooking for 5 minutes or until they are cooked through to the middle, then remove and keep warm. There should be a sticky residue on the pan.
Using the same pan, warm 200g of sauerkraut over a moderate heat, then toss with 4 tbsp of chopped dill. Ladle the soup into bowls. Divide the sauerkraut between them, add the pork balls then, if you wish, spoon over a little soured cream. Serves 3
The beetroot you want for this is the cooked, unvinegared variety. It is often sold vacuum packed.
There should be a sticky residue
left in the pan after the pork has been cooked, stir the sauerkraut into this.
Use vegetable or chicken stock for this. However, a good beef stock – or even a can of beef consommé – gives a very fine result.
Sauerkraut has become an ever-present ingredient in my fridge – I add it to salads of sprouted seeds and finely shredded white cabbage, stir it into onion or artichoke soup and use it in the stuffing for autumn squash (with cheese and cream).