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Aug 4, 2005 07:37 PM


  • m

I recently have been to a Chzech restaurant and a German restaurant and had basically the same hot sauerkraut. It was delicious. Sort of cooked for a long time with something in it, but I don't know what and for how long to cook. Anyone have any ideas?

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  1. My family does it a couple different ways. Melt a tablespoon of lard (or bacon grease) in a heavy pot. Add a chopped onion until softened, (sometimes add a garlic clove). Add a large jar of rinsed & squeezed sauerkraut, teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of caraway. dash of salt & pepper, (sometimes add a couple juniper berries or allspice). Add water until just covered. BRing to boil, cover, lower flame to very low and simmer 1 1/2 -2 hours. Taste for salt & pepper.

    3 Replies
    1. re: petradish

      Or duuuuck fat....

        1. re: rudeboy

          or some good dry-cured bacon, cut into a coarse dice and cooked in the braising pan until nice and brown, then you put in the onion and cook that a bit, then the apple for a few minutes more, then raise the heat, add the drained kraut (plus the juniper berries or whatever) and toss it around until it's good and hot and greasy, then add the liquid and put on the lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Then try to exercise some patience...

          This is of course your basic beginning to a proper choucroute garni, but let's wait until, say, November for that!

    2. In addition to slowly stewing the chopped onion in bacon fat, use a grated apple for an elusive sweet taste. Try to find sauerkraut in a bag (in the deli case) at the regular grocery store instead of a jar - it is fresher. Drain and rinse several times. Use white vermouth as part of the cooking liquid, add caraway seeds and juniper berries (or gin in a pinch). If you cook sausages or smoked pork in the sauerkraut, the salty-smoky taste addition adds another flavor level.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sherri

        Also, look at the ingredients on the kraut's packaging lable. If it contains vinegar put it back and look for kraut which only contains cabbage and salt. The vinegary stuff will never taste good.

        1. re: Sherri

          I do it this way too, except I only drain, not rinse. I like a bit of bite left. I also like to brown the onions a bit, and will use apple cider or some reisling if I have them lieu of the apple or other liquid.

          1. re: Sherri

            For something different you might want to try raw (uncooked) kraut. It makes an interesting side dish and is supposed to have health benefits. I just eat it because it tastes good. You can get it in health food stores under the brand name "Wellspring Farm" or order it through their web site at the URL below. It's organic and the new crop won't be available until October. You can also get raw sauerkraut now at the Union Square farmers' market from Hawthorne Valley Farms stand on Wednesday and Saturday. They have several different varieties. Give it a try.

            On a different direction, I once had Bushs canned sauerkraut with caraway down south, very tasty but they don't seem to ship it north of Virginia.


            1. re: BluPlateSpec

              The flip side of that is Meeter's, a very crisp - almost aggressively crisp - kraut from Wisconsin or somewhere. Used to be what my folks would try to find in the stores before defaulting to the more common brands. I saw it in a couple of stores in Nashville, but I don't know how much south of there it ever got.

          2. For a quick and easy dide dish, great with grilled pork, I like to rinse and squeeze dry the kraut and then simmer with V8 juice. Add enough so the kraut is moist but not drippy. When you simmer, not long, just to heat through. Finish with a generous grind of black pepper and a pat of butter.

            1. Ah, choucroute braisee garnie. I would eat this at least twice a week if it wouldn't make me drop dead of pork fat poisoning. ;+)

              I buy the jarred kraut and wash it a bit in water. Must try to find the fresh stuff.

              I always use Julia's recipe for the braising part. She uses a 1/2 lb. chunk of bacon (!!!) and cooks it with onions and sliced carrots. I saute it in olive oil and leave out the bacon altogether because I'm serving this kraut with smoked pork chops already.

              She ties up a spice packet in cheesecloth of parsley, bay leaf and 6 peppercorns (I always use about 20), 10 juniper berries or 1/4 cup gin. Tie it up and bury it in the sauerkraut. Add 1 cup white wine (or a little less dry vermouth (I like the vermouth better for the taste it brings) and 2-3 cups chicken or beef bouillon (I always use chicken). She cookes it in a 325 deg oven for 4-5 hours until all the liquid has evap. I never cook it that long as I'm usually making it for dinner and don't think of it til a couple of hours prior and usually cook on top of the stove.

              Then I saute the smoke pork chops and bury them in the kraut for about 15 minutes with some par-boiled new potatoes with skins. Serve with strong mustard (I like the Edmund Fallot brand).

              I love all kinds of cabbage - weird to be talking about this in mid-summer - red cabbage with apples, carraway seeds, regular cabbage with mushrooms and pancetta (Paula Wolfert)....

              Now I'm using it for cole slaw mixed with fennel.

              I'd think my name was Brunhilde in a former life, but I also think it was Therese and Giuletta and Mei Lin.


              1. thanks everyone