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May 26, 2007 10:58 AM

Kielbasa and sauerkraut -- what do I do now?

I just bought a couple of lbs of kielbasa and fresh sauerkraut from Eagle Provisions, a Polish deli in Brooklyn. I'm looking for a straightforward, authentic way to prepare them. A search on the internet comes up with so many varied recipes I'm having analysis paralysis. Help! TIA.

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  1. i simply brown off the kielbasa in a skillet and dump the sauerkraut on top, cover and simmer, allowing the sausage to steam in the delicious kraut. Serve with potatoes (boiled or mashed, whichever you prefer) and applesauce or sautee'd apples. Cornbread goes well with all this as well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: SweetPhyl

      This is exactly what I had for supper tonight! (Although I had homemade bratwurst, not kilbasa, and served it with fried potatoes, not boiled - so maybe it's not exactly what I had, but close enough...)
      Most of the other suggestions below are expanding on the technique, but it's all pretty much the same basic idea.

      1. re: froddard

        When I make this, I put the sauerkraut on top of the mashed potatoes - it's so good, don't knock it until you try it.

      2. re: SweetPhyl

        Yes, this. My grandmother also used to top with dumplings (the fluffy ones, like for chicken and dumplings). Served with potatoes fried in bacon fat. Farm cooks love their starches!

      3. Oops! Don't forget the horseradish mustard for dipping!

        3 Replies
        1. re: SweetPhyl

          I think I'd make a German potato salad to go with it if the weather is warm. I love sausage or ribs and kraut with mashed potatoes in the winter. You might add some beer to that skillet for simmering the sausage and kraut and chill some to drink alongside.

          1. re: Candy

            Or a nice young German or Austrian white wine instead of beer for the cooking and drinking is good too.

            As a slightly more elaborate version of SweetPhyl's suggestion, I'd brown the sausage in some added fat, could be oil or lard or whatever, and then take it out. Drain the kraut and squeeze it fairly dry, and toss it in the hot oily residue over medium-high heat until it's beginning to steam, then put the sausages back in, pour in about 3/4 cup of beer or wine, put the lid on, turn the heat down, and let it simmer for about half an hour. And unless it was 100ยบ in the shade I think I'd do boiled or mashed potatoes anyway, but I'm that kind of guy...

            1. re: Will Owen

              Update: now that I have a gas grill, I've gotten into the habit of using that to brown any kind of sausage I'm going to braise. It may or may not get rid of some fat - it certainly doesn't add any! - but I don't frankly care about that. What I like is that the skin gets nicely crisp and the flavors are intensified.

        2. My dad used to do kielbasa, cabbage, and peeled potatoes. Fill pot with water and cook until potatoes are soft but not mushy. We called this "kielbasa and cabbage" and my dad would sometimes put kraut and mustard on top of the kielbasa when we ate it. Also, drain the water and just eat the main stuff. As a kid, I'd mush up the potato w/butter and eat the kielbasa and force down the cabbage to get dessert. Happen to wish i had a bit of this right now as an adult.

          1 Reply
          1. re: amyvc

            I used to get that rope-style cooked "kielbasa" (I put it in quotes because it's really just Industrial Sausage) and stack peeled potatoes, then shredded cabbage, then cut-up sausage in a steamer, with plenty of salt and pepper over both the potatoes and cabbage. In less than half an hour I had some pretty good, hearty Prole Food - nobody's gourmet treat, but cheap and good.

          2. My mom would add a little brown sugar, an apple and some finely chopped cabbage to soften the taste of the kraut. Too strong for us kids. I want some, now...delicious.

            1. Well, as one might suspect, I love kraut and kielbasa (or any sausage), but with plain rice!