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sauerkraut [moved from General Topics]

I had to buy some sauerkraut for a football party recently, but it only came in a HUGE container. I love the stuff, but have never used it for anything but brats. What else to do? also, how long will it last in the fridge? Thanks!

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  1. I love saurkraut and use it a lot so it never really sits for long, but on a couple of occasions I have kept it in the fridge for months with no problems.
    But that's rarely necessary in my house.

    As for other dishes to use it in, Sauerkraut & Kidney Bean Soup is an old family favorite, as is Szekely Goulash (pork braised w/ saurkraut. paprika, and sour cream). There are other soups slaws you can make too.
    Versatile stuff.

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Professor

      We also love Szekely goulash! It's awesome!

    2. Joanne Fluke writes mysteries featuring a cookie chef who quotes recipes. Her recent book, "Cream Puff Murder", includes cookies based on chocolate sauerkraut cake quaintly called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Cookies" which uses 2 cups of the kraut per batch. Now there's a really far out way to use up that big vat!

      1 Reply
      1. re: DonShirer

        Sounds intriguing.
        About 48 years ago, I saw Groucho Marx in a one man show in NYC...actually it was more like a lecture/talk consisting of reminiscences (and it was great, by the way).
        In among the show-biz stories he told were some stories about his childhood, including a a winding tale about a date he had gone on and instead of saving enough money for getting his date home, he sprang for some "sauerkraut candy".
        I turned up a couple of recipes on the interweb (though only one used actual sauerkraut)...one of these days I'll give it a spin...

      2. This is a 1950-ish recipe I really like... no exact proportions. The onion and apple dissolve into the kraut and mellow the sharp flavor a bit.

        The reason for the invention of sauerkraut was to preserve cabbage over the long winter months in much more insanitary conditions than your frig, so it won't go bad quickly. <g>

        Generally I use two small or one large can of Silverfloss sauerkraut. This nicely fills an 8 x 8 pyrex pan a little over halfway, so you can use that a guide for your leftovers.

        Put kraut in a sieve and rinse to get rid of some of the salt. Put in baking pan and mix with

        1 can cream of mushroom soup
        1 diced or shredded green apple
        one medium chopped onion
        If you like caraway seeds, throw in a tablespoon or two
        A tablespoon or two of tomato paste is also great, but not necessary
        About half a cup of water - you want this looking just a little soupy, don't want the kraut to dry out

        I usually put this in to bake at 350 about half an hour before I add the meat.

        Saute two pork chops in a little canola oil, floured and dusted with thyme, 3-4 minutes each side. Add to baking dish - really wedge down until they're almost buried in the kraut. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for about another half hour. Cooking time depends on the type of pork - I'd probably go 45 minutes for thick bone-in chops. 30 minutes is fine for boneless or thin chops with bone.

        Serve with baked potatoes. No need for butter or sour cream, just mash the kraut into the potato.

        My Dad used to call this peasant food - lucky peasants!

        This is also good with kielbasa, which you don't have to brown first, just bury it in the kraut.

        3 Replies
        1. re: pasuga

          i will definitely try this one! Thanks!

          1. re: noogitlvr

            When you try it, let me know if you like it?

          2. re: pasuga

            I do something similar with pork ribs, sometimes adding some sausages or fatback, but never the mushroom soup, though that sounds like a tasty addition. It is also good with a bit of thyme or marjoram.

            A long-cooked bigos is also a very tasty option at this time of year.

          3. Mom's go-to dish, although I've never seen a recipe. She just whips it up (like ya do). Not sure who or where it came from. I've seen her make it a hundred times, but the meat amounts are estimated here, as this is loosely defined as a recipe.
            (Also, she insists caraway seed sauerkraut is the only way to go. You might add caraway if your kraut is the unseasoned variety.)

            1 potato for each diner, cut bite-size
            3-4 pork chops
            5 slices bacon, diced
            1/2 lb pork sausage
            2 c. sauerkraut, drained
            chicken, pork or veg stock
            Boil potatoes in salted water. Drain and keep warm.

            While they cook, in large skillet, brown sausage and bacon together; add pork chops and brown them on both sides. Drain grease into a second pan, large enough to make gravy in. Add kraut to the Pan O' Pork. Cover and reduce heat.

            Meanwhile, make a roux from pork drippings; whisk stock in and season to taste with S&P; keep hot. When chops are cooked through, bone and dice. Return to Pan O' Pork.

            Serve Pork and Kraut mixture over Hot Potatoes; top with gravy. Mmm mmm, pig.

            1 Reply
            1. re: WhatThePho

              That was magnificently described, I must now put Pan O' Pork on my to-cook list!

            2. Pork ribs and saurkraut!!

              1. That's a good one melly. Here's my fav, great for cold weather. I use 1 15oz can of applesauce instead of the apples and omit the brown sugar, I also add some browned off boneless pork chops.


                1. I like my sauerkraut fried separately when adding to brats or chops. Just fry it up in bacon or meat drippings until brown. Big taste difference (to me anyway).

                  1. Being of Polish ancestry, I usually make kapusta - soup with kraut, cabbage and pork ribs with fried potatoes and onions on the side.

                    Here's a site with hundreds of recipes

                    Sauerkraut quiche, pizza ,panacakes, crepes, smoothies, ice cream or pie (like coconut) anyone?

                    Fried sauerkraut with eggs over easy?

                    Noodles and Sauerkraut?

                    Sauerkraut Jello?

                    I'd have to participate seriously in a happy hour before trying happy hour pie which has
                    Oreo cookie pie crust
                    3 cup mini marshmallows
                    ½ cup milk
                    1-½ cups frozen whip topping
                    3 tbs. White cream de cacao
                    3 tbs. Brandy
                    14 oz. sauerkraut drained and chopped
                    1 cup additional crushed Oreos

                    Saurkraut is meant to be kept a long time. It should keep for months in the fridge.

                    Some health benefits of krauts

                    A few other interesting ideas

                    Pickled Sauerkraut Stuffed Banana Peppers

                    Apple, Sauerkraut & Cheddar Quesadillas Recipe

                    Aunt Millies Sauerkraut Omelet Recipe

                    Potato and sauerkraut gratin recipe

                    BIGOS (From A Secret Family Recipe)

                    Char grilled chicken and sauerkraut recipe

                    Stewed Perch Slices with Sauerkraut

                    Pig's Knuckles With Sauerkraut And Dumplings

                    Baked Skate with Sauerkraut (Germany) (Rochen mit Sauerkraut

                    Pierogi Lasagna

                    Some Chow recipes
                    http://search.chow.com/search?query=S... &type=Recipe

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: rworange

                      Excellent aggregation of info, rwo. Thanks.

                      1. re: rworange

                        Here are two more recipes. One is mine and one's from my sista, alkapal!

                        Reuben Soup - a tasty blend of the eponymous sandwich and beer cheese soup!

                        Georgia Faye's Famous Porcupine Meatballs with Sauerkraut

                        I've made and enjoyed both. Happy eating!

                        1. re: kattyeyes


                          I *know* I haven't made the Reuben Soup yet. Every time I look at that recipe I think to myself "oh, how decadent..." and put it off another day.

                          We recently talked about a suggestion, it was either from alkapal or maybe from JungMann; the Reuben egg rolls, with Thousand Island dressing to dip. However, we'll have to offer that idea as a tease, seeing how we haven't actually *made* the Reuben egg rolls... yet!

                        2. re: rworange

                          Definitely trying the pig's knuckles w/ kraut and dumplings. Thanks rworange! Any idea what country/region/people group this recipe comes from?

                          1. re: sunflwrsdh

                            We use sauerkraut in a sandwich we have dubbed the "Austin Reuben" because we ate it at the Katz's deli in Austin. It's a veggie reuben: avocado, 'kraut, swiss, and Russian dressing on rye, grilled. It's a weeknight staple.

                            1. re: Katie in Berkeley

                              I'll have to give that a try. It sounds very good.

                          2. I sometimes roast duck on a bed of sauerkraut mixed with sliced onions. As the duck roasts and i pierce the skin, the duck fat drips into the sauerkraut. Ideally, you keep turning the sauerkraut so it gets wonderfully caramelized. It's been a long time and after writing this, I want to make this. Now.

                            1. Before you die, you _must_ have a Bulgarian roasted turkey. You will need _much more kraut!_
                              I first had this when my hostess, married to a Bulgarian, made it as the Thanksgiving turkey. This is her preparation:
                              Rise & pat dry (1) whole turkey
                              Fill a shallow roasting pan with drained seedless kraut.
                              Rub the turkey in & out with salt and set atop the bed of kraut.
                              Place (1) dried red pepper (Pimento) into each corner.
                              Tent with foil.
                              Into the oven as per the usual guidelines for these birds.


                              Here is how I do it (as very often as possible!):

                              In the electric roaster place in this order:
                              As much kraut as you possibly may without displacing the raw turkey to the point of being unable to secure the lid - Yes, "That Much" - and still, you will wish for _more_
                              One rinsed and patted dry in & out turkey

                              Plug it in, set it to 325 and forget about it for 18 hours.

                              When you open the roaster for a look-see you'll find the entire bird has collapsed onto -or- into itself!
                              This isn't an "oopsies!" moment; this is an indication of great food to come!

                              All the cartilage and essesence of the bird is now melted and difused into the kraut, which is easily accessed by picking the bones up and tossing them - many will be "powder (as when simmering stock for long periods at low temps) - that's A-OK - A "Good Thing" '-)
                              Once you've "cleared the bird out of the way, you've got the very best food _ever_ OMGosh _greatness!_
                              Stir it up & chow down!

                              Another - this one my Bulgarian father fed us throughout the 60s & 70s:
                              (1) pork butt, cut into pencil eraser-small tidbits and slowly well-browned - or - a butt cut into bite-sized cubes, like stew meat at the butcher's case, and browned.
                              Fill rectangular roasting pan with the kraut mixed with the browned tdbits - or - cubes
                              Placed, uncovered, into a typical oven until done - the tips of the drained kraut with brown considerably - as they are supposed to so do.

                              The first restaurant food I ever bought with my own paycheck was a Weinerschnetzel Polish Sandwich, c. 1978 in the Irvine Sperry-Univac parking lot. It was great: Rye bread slabs with a halved polish sausage and kraut - i think mustard & Swiss, too - and a pickle spear down the middle.

                              Langer's Deli, in Los Angeles makes a great Ruben - I just don't like the dressing in my Ruben - Is it to be called something else if dressing is omitted?

                              The best kraut you will ever have will come from under a collapsed turkey.

                              I promise you this.

                              The 2nd best will be from a pan with pork in it, too.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                Do you eat the turkey or just toss it and eat the kraut?

                                1. re: chicgail

                                  This my very first post but I have been reading for a long time.
                                  I live sauerkraut in every shape and form but this is one of my favorite and people that hate kraut and are willing to try, usually love this:
                                  Brown pork chops, or what ever pork meat you wish to use,
                                  Sliced onions if you wish (good)
                                  Throw in one can of kraut the bigger one and an equal can of whole or diced tomatoes with juice (if using whole, mush-chop in pan), gently combine, cover loosly and simmer till the juice is mostly gone and the meat is falling off the bone.

                                  1. re: chicgail

                                    The the sternum's cartilage will be absent and the ribs & smaller bones will be like the "powder" - I don't think that's the right word, but if you pick one up and press between your fingers, it is suddenly powder - Do you know what I mean? Like the bones of a very low & long & slow stock... Not pulverized, but truly depleted of all "substance"? - A "shadow" of their former selves... Am I making this clear?
                                    It is an important point as these are the bones I am referring to. The meat - the far more delicate portion of the bird - is even more "rendered".
                                    The breast is the easiest portion to access and I did so for my daughters' delight. This breast meat I immediately tasted and was beyond uninspired. It was no longer "really meat". I quickly sliced and diced to form small cubes, mixed with Best Foods Mayo - or the Hellman's from Mexico with the green lime on the lower right of the label (The only 2 they'll consider) and put that upon lightly toasted potato bread with some sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper for them. They ate it, but they knew they weren't eating the breast of choice '-)
                                    I, on the other hand, consumed what for all intent may be said to have been the whole turkey transferred into the kraut! I do not apologize for this and stand ready to repeat the deed at a moment's notice.
                                    NOTE: I don't have time/inclination to go back into my post, but know what we are speaking of '-)
                                    I plan, when next preparing this glorious feast, to place a 4-6 layer barrier of cheese cloth between the kraut and the bird, to better succeed in a flawless kraut - no anxiety about having missed a bone or piece of what-once-could-be-called-meat '-)
                                    I suggest anyone else do the same.

                                    1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                      Interesting. So it sounds like the turkey is a kind of throwaway. The point is to have (what once was) the turkey flavor the kraut -- the kraut being the ultimate point -- rather than creating a total meal with protein and kraut coming together to create a kind of harmonious stew with each other. Is that accurate?

                                      1. re: chicgail

                                        The way I like it, that is 100% accurate, Chicgail.
                                        The way my friend does it, no. Her Bulgarian turkey only cooks for as long as is usual (according to typical weight/temp/time charts) and remains high and scrumptious, to the detriment of the (unrealized) potential of the kraut bed, longing to be bathed in the whole essence of the turkey - no just some juices '-)
                                        Gaaaaaaaaa.... Must-make-Bulgarian-Turkey-Soon! (Which, I suddenly realize, my version is more suited to being called Bulgarian Turkey Infused Kraut, perhaps?) '-)

                                        Seriously, after an 18 hour low & slow roasting, you'll not want to consume what's remaining of what once was a turkey '-)

                                        The kraut will have that special dark caramel color and a deeply rich flavor from the bird - every iota of goodness packed into a decadent kraut delight requiring nothing else for perfection.

                                        Turkey + Kraut(18 hours) = Perfection

                                        1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                          I am totally impressed by your passion, STC, but not inspired to re-create it. i can't imagine roasting a whole turkey until it decomposes and then basically tossing it just to get great kraut.

                                          Do you eat anything else with it?

                                          I think I will stick to my long-roasted (but not nearly 18 hrs) duck over kraut to produce both the roast duck and the roast duck fat-infused kraut.

                                          1. re: chicgail

                                            Sounds to me like you could remove some or all of the breast meat once it is cooked for the normal amount of time, returning any unwanted skin to the pan while the turkey kraut continues to cook. Surely the bulk of the flavor is coming from the skin, dark meat, and carcass.

                                            Chicgail, I bought a duck for the first time in 2 decades, and will cook it tomorrow. The last one was cooked in a cast iron Dutch oven, on kraut, as per a Frugal Gourmet episode. I was planning on taking it to the home of a friend who was about to move across country. It wasn't browning the way the TV one did, so when I got to my friend's we cooked it some more. It never did turn out the way it should have. Then I goofed and put WAY too much milk into the mashed potato so we had to add more spuds and wound up with enough to feed the Dugger clan. The coup de grace was my friend's apple cobbler. She was on the phone when making the dough and mistakenly doubled the flour, so the cobbler was more like stewed apples under a Chernobyl-class dome. To this day, we call the meal our "feastasco" :-D

                                            1. re: greygarious

                                              Absolute epiphany moment here!
                                              Of _course!_
                                              _What_ was I _thinking!?!_
                                              _Was_ I even thinking?
                                              I don't think I ever slowed in my frenzy to get it on the way to "ready" long enough to ponder the potential for frugality (I _adore_ frugality!)!
                                              I am _so_ setting a timer and snagging that breast from now on!
                                              My daughters thank you - and so do I!
                                              We _love_ turkey breast sandwiches over here!
                                              Just mayo, S&P.
                                              Now, we will enjoy the best of both worlds: Kraut for me + the breast for them!
                                              You are magnificent - I'm going to be one of your "readers", I think CHOW calls them! :-)
                                              Thank you!

                                              1. re: SusanaTheConqueress

                                                Aw, Shucks! (Blushing)
                                                It wasn't a sudden inspiration - 25+ years ago, when I raised and showed pedigreed cats, I filled my chest freezer with 10-13# turkeys when they were on sale. I would put a whole frozen one in a big pot, fill it with water, cover, and gently boil it until it fell apart, then fish out the bones which wouldn't crumble when squeezed, and tear the meat apart. This mush of broth and meat supplemented the commercial cat food. Over time, I realized that the breast meat cooked this way was tender, juicy, and delicious. Then I realized that the stock was great, combined with beef stock, for French onion soup. The "poor" cats were reduced to getting only a half of the breast meat and stock. If I had a fresh or thawed turkey, I sometimes removed half the breast raw, slicing it into cutlets or cubing it for turkey a la king.

                                2. Squeeze out the sauerkraut. Mix with dill seed, thinly sliced sweet onion, black pepper and some white wine. Let marinate in the wine at least an hour. Squeeze again. Saute this mixture quickly in butter and serve under veal chops, or sauteed veal medallions. Top with a very light Bechamel.

                                  1. Make King Arthur flour's sandwich rye, and then make <insert your favorite protein> reubens.

                                    1. This recipe is from a Polish lady I worked with in the 80"s. It's great on sandwiches and as a side dish.
                                      1/2 lb. bacon, chopped small (don't drain the drippings)
                                      1 chopped onion
                                      1 chopped green pepper
                                      7 cups plain sauerkraut, rinsed with cold water and drained (2 large cans)
                                      4 cups (1 large jar) Polish sauerkraut with caraway - don't rinse or drain
                                      1 cup applesauce
                                      1 cup chopped mushrooms
                                      Turn into large dutch oven, bake at 325 degrees for about an hour.

                                      This is one of those foods that you don't want to stop eating. I guess that's why it makes such a big batch. I froze about a third of it last time I made it, thawed it later to go with another meal, and it tasted just as good, and the texture was fine.

                                      1. Since we've gotten into cold weather I don't feel too bad resurrecting this thread. Here's another recipe I want to try for sentimental reasons - very similar to something a friend (who'd survived Auschwitz as a young girl) of my German/Polish Mom brought over a couple days after my Dad died. It was the perfect comfort food - all Mom ate for days.


                                        1. Many of these ideas are reminiscent of "choucroute garnie". An Alsacian dish from france which is wine-braised sauerkraut "garnished" with flintstoned sized pieces of pork product. It's a great winter dish I've had in restaurants, but have not made personally.