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czech roast pork with sauerkraut and dumplings (knedlo vepro zelo)
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5 from 8 votes


Slow roasted pork with sauerkraut and fluffy dumplings is one of the top comforting and iconic dishes in Czech cuisine. You can serve it as a Sunday lunch or on special occasions like Easter.
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 25 mins
kneading & prooving time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time4 hrs 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Czech
Keyword: comforting, dumplings, family food, festive, roasted pork, sauerkraut
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 703kcal
Author: Julia


  • Large dutch oven, large sauce pot with lid & steaming basket or cheese cloth to make dumplings, large skillet


Pork roast

  • 1 6- pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 9 small garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp vegetable oil; divided
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 5 balls of allspice Jamaican pepper
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 2 cup water

Dumplings -makes 4 logs

  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups warm milk +1/2 cup for the yeast starter
  • 3 tsps salt
  • 2 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  • 3 cups sauerkraut
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour


Pork Roast

  • Preheat oven 350 F / 180 C. Take room temperature boneless pork shoulder roast and with paired knife, make 9 small holes on the top of the roast. Place 9 small garlic cloves inside. Season with salt and pepper. Let aside.
  • In a dutch oven or any other cast iron pot reheat, vegetable oil on medium high and sear 1 large chopped onion for 1 min. Brown the roast on both sides, for about 1 minute each side.
  • Remove the dutch oven from the heat. Add large bay leaf, caraway seeds and balls of allspice. Add 2 cups of water and place it in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, uncovered. After 30 minutes of roasting reduce the heat to 325 F/ 160 C and continue roasting for another 1 hour, covered.
  • After one hour of roasting, uncover and roast for another and final 30 minutes. The roast must reach internal temperature 160 F/ 75 C. Use the juices to brush over the roast time to time.
  • Let the roast sit in the dutch oven (covered) for 20 minutes, before you slice it.

Dumplings - makes 4 logs

  • To prepare starter, place instant yeast in a small bowl with warm milk and sugar. Mix it well with spoon to get creamy texture. Cover the bowl with food foil and let it stand in warm place for 10 minutes. The yeast starter should double in size.
  • In a bowl of stand mixer with hook attachment; add flour, egg, salt and yeast starter and mix on low speed. Add slowly warm milk, until the dough gets well combined. Knead the dough with hook attachment on medium low speed for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer, knead the dough with your hands for 10 minutes or until the dough is stretchy and soft.
  • Shape the dough in ball and place it back to the bowl and cover with plastic food wrap. Let the dough rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour in warm (sunny) place. The dough should double in size.
  • After first rise, punch the dough in the bowl. The dough will slightly deflate. Place the dough on lightly floured surface and cut it in 4 equal pieces. Shape 4 dumpling logs and place them on baking sheet, covered by plastic food wrap or parchment paper. Cover those 4 logs of dumplings with clean cotton kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 minutes in warm place.
  • In the meanwhile, prepare large sauce pot with steam basket. Fill it with water at the steam basket level. Brush the steam basket with butter or oil preventing sticking. Bring the water to a boil. Once the dumpling logs has risen for another 20 minutes, place 2 logs of dumplings in large sauce pot with steam basket. Cover the sauce pot with lid and lower the heat on medium-low. Steam the dumpling logs for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove the dumpling logs out of the steaming basket and poke them with toot pick or fork. Cut the dumplings with sawing thread or unscented dental floss. Serve!


  • In a large skillet with lid, reheat vegetable oil and sear chopped onion for about 5 minutes or until slightly brown.
  • Add sauerkraut and water. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook covered, for 15 -20 minutes or until the water will slightly evaporate.
  • Add sugar and flour and cook for another 1 minute on medium high heat, uncovered. Serve the pork with dumplings, sauerkraut and drizzle with juices from the roasted pork.


  • If you don’t have dutch oven, you can use any roast pan and  sear the onion and roast pork on the side on skillet and then place it in the roast pan.
  • If you love roasted onions, use 2 large onions for the roast pork, instead of one. This makes the whole dish even more flavorful. Onion brings lots of flavours in pork roast recipes.
  • The dough for dumplings needs to double, make sure you leave the dough to rise in warm & sunny place. I always use my window in sunny days or place it close to the stove.
  • If you don’t have large steaming basket & sauce pan, you can use any sauce pan and cheese cloth to steam the dumplings. Simply place the cheesecloth around the sauce pan and secure it by tightening the edges of cheesecloth to the handles of the sauce pot. strawberry dumplings                                                             (This picture is only visual guide, how to attach the cheesecloth to the sauce pot. Inside it's not the dumpling log from this recipe. These are sweet strawberry dumplings).
  • Dumpling logs will double in size in the steamer, so divide the dough accordingly. My sauce pot size is 10 inch and I used collapsible steamer basket in this recipe.
  • Sauerkraut is sold mostly in jars with fermented water and sometimes this water is very sour or acid. Taste first your sauerkraut, if too acid, strain the sauerkraut and discard the fermented water.