Kielbasa and Kraut
I'm trying to make a simple Kielbasa and Kraut that tastes really good without much work. I did it a year or so ago following a viewing of 30 minute meals (i know, blasphemy, but its a guilty pleasure) and it was really good, but I don't remember if there was anything to it except butter and kraut and kielbasa.
Any suggestions are much appreciated...but no fruit please (I would love it, but my wife is weird and won't eat fruit and meat - crazy wife)
Right. I was thinking caraway seeds. I was also thinking of crock pot. You said easy and I translated that to crock pot. Rinse, drain, and squeeze dry the kraut. Poke holes in the Keilbasa and cut to length. Chop some onions. Put it all in the crock pot, add the seeds and stir. Add some beer for a liquid.
I use dry vermouth, sauteed onions, carrots, potatoes and kraut. Brown sausages or smoked pork chops (we had this for dinner last night) and bury in the kraut mix after the spuds have cooked to almost done. Cook over low heat for about 15 mins so that the flavors mingle a bit. I also drain and rinse some of the kraut so that the brine doesn't overpower.
Seeds maybe caraway? I used juniper berries in my version.
How about the greatest kraut-and-sausages recipe ever devised in human history:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 pound smoked slab bacon, rind removed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
2 medium-large onions, sliced
9 cups drained sauerkraut (about 5 to 6 pounds), rinsed and squeezed drys
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
6 sprigs parsley
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 bottle white wine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds assorted smoked and precooked fresh sausages (we used smoked kielbasa cut into thick slices, frankfurters, and baernwurst, and precooked fresh bratwurst, weisswurst, and chipolata)
1 pound piece smoked boneless pork loin (Canadian bacon), cut into 6 slices
2 1/2 pounds small waxy-style potatoes, peeled
Serving suggestion: Coarse-grained mustard
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion and cook, stirring, until soft. Add the sauerkraut and stir to combine.
In a swath of cheesecloth, combine the juniper berries, peppercorns, caraway seeds, parsley, thyme, cloves, and bay leaves and tie into a bundle with a piece of kitchen twine. Add the spice bundle to the sauerkraut mixture. Pour in the wine and add enough water to cover the sauerkraut. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Cover pan tightly with foil and braise in middle of oven for 2 hours. (The sauerkraut may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead, cooled, uncovered, and chilled, covered with plastic wrap.)
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat and, working in batches, brown the sausages.
Uncover the casserole and nestle the sausages, pork loin, and potatoes in the sauerkraut, partially submerging them. Recover and continue braising for 30 minutes more.
Serve the choucroute at the table in the Dutch oven or transfer to a large serving platter.
My suggestion is really simple but very tasty:
Saute 2 tablespoons of butter with one diced yellow onion and three pieces of thick cut bacon. After 5-10 minutes, add kraut and one bottle of your favorite beer (I usually use porter or lager). Mix it together really well and let it come up to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, and add kielbasa on top. Cover loosely (to let it steam the sausage)--and it will be warmed throughout within 15-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the sausage you bought.
Hope that helps. Start to finish it should take you no more than 45 minutes with the prep.
Grill or pan-brown the kielbasa first, or don't. Simplest version is yayadave's, maybe even without the onions. Mashed potatoes on the side (to fork mix with the kraut for earthy pleasure), or sauteed onions with pierogies and sour cream ... is it fall yet?
Brown the kielbasa, whole, in some olive oil. Remove the kielbasa then sweat off some sliced onion and sliced fresh apple in the same pan. When onions and apples are limp place kielbasa back in pan with can of sauerkraut,some par-steamed quartered red or white potatoes, caraway seeds and a dash of crushed red pepper flakes. Add some full bodied beer or dry white wine, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
If you add nothing to the butter, kraut, and kielbasa you will still have a fine meal. Pepper and Bay leaf would be next most indispensable. If all you have in the spice cabinet is curry powder, use it - but not too much!