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Jan 22, 2012 06:57 PM

Hot or cold Sauerkraut? How do you eat it and with what?

Hi All,

Long time lurker but now have the courage to finally post. :)

I love sauerkraut and seem to only eat it when I have a hotdog from a street cart. Something about a steamy blistery hotdog served in a warm soft roll smoothered in mustard and kraut... Ah love in the simplest of forms :). Could any of you share some ideas on how to serve it at home? I am curious how other chowhounds eat sauerkraut and if they like hot or cold.

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  1. To be honest, I like it either way. Mostly hot on a dog, as a side with onions and a bit of gin and juniper berries, or in a bean soup; braised with pork chops, potatoes and apples, on a Reuben, etc.

    However, there are days when cold kraut on a grilled dog or cold corned beef sandwich, as part of a cold vegetable salad, or just out right of the bag on a plate, as a pickle option, fills the bill.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Put a pound of spicy smoked sausage in a crock pot. Squeeze the juice out of 1 lb can or bag of kraut. Put it over the sausage. Dump 1 bottle of Honey Brown beer over it & let it cook on low for a few hrs. Serve on buns.

      I have a recipe for German lasagna that uses kraut & kielbasa. Good stuff!

      1. re: CorinneD

        Hi Corinne,

        I was researching sauerkraut, but also making lasagna tonight.

        Could I have your recipe for the lasagna?


        1. re: cstandley

          I don't usually use Jack cheese. I prefer Swiss.

          German Lasagna

          3/4 cups Butter
          3/4 cups Flour
          1 Tablespoon beef bouillon granules
          2 teaspoons onion salt
          2 teaspoons pepper, divided
          1/2 Teaspoon white pepper
          2 1/4 cups Milk
          1 14.5-oz cans chicken broth
          1 Pound kielbasa, chopped
          2 Eggs
          12 ounces cottage cheese (1 1/2 cups)
          9 lasagna noodles, cooked & drained
          16 ounces saurkraut, rinsed & squeezed dry
          2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, divided (8 oz)


          1. In saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, bouillon, onion salt, 1 tsp pepper & white pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in milk & broth. Bring to a boil; cook & stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add kielbasa & heat through.

          2. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, & remaining 1 tsp pepper.

          3. Spread 1 cup sausage mixture in a greased 9"X13" baking dish. Layer with 3 noodles, 1/3 of the sausage mixture, 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture, 1/2 of the saurkraut, & 3/4 cup Monterey Jack. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles & sausage mixture.

          4. Cover and bake at 350ยบ for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining Monterey Jack. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.

    2. I get a couple of pounds of sauerkraut from my butcher, along with a ham shank. I then braise them together (drain and squeeze the kraut first), along with onion, crushed juniper berries, smoked sausage if available, diced apple etc. Cook at low heat in a dutch oven for a couple of hours until the kraut is soft and browning, and the ham is falling off the bone. Maybe add some potatoes toward the end.

      This is an approximation of the classic French Alsatian's sauerkraut casserole, Choucroute

      4 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        Uh... Speechless. And i bet this makes an awesome lunch the next day. :)

        1. re: paulj

          My mother used to put diced apples into sauerkraut and cook it to kingdom come, to the point that it wasn't even very tart any more, to which I say "Why bother? Make a damn apple pie."

          Kind of a purist about it, I guess. I do like my tart foods.

          1. re: EWSflash

            What was missing in her version was all that porky goodness! :)

            1. re: paulj

              Maybe- maybe. I just think she way overdid it with the apples and the long cooking. Took all the chutzpah out of it. Sometimes she did that.

        2. I recently prepared sauerkraut for an appetizer. I rinsed, drained and squeezed out the excess water, then mixed with thinly sliced onion, minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, and just enough mayo to bind. Next, I cut 2-inch rounds from rye bread slices, topped with the mixture and popped them into a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. I guarantee you won't miss the corned beef!

          4 Replies
          1. re: AntarcticWidow

            Ah yes, very nice. I bet the sauerkraut won't even be obvious either. Paulj's is a classic also.

            But what about cold kraut ideas?? There's the rub.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Some thought they were eating a hot crab salad type thing - imagine that. I want to try Paulj's method as well.

              Cold? For me, it's straight out of the jar. Don't know if that makes me odd, though.

            2. re: AntarcticWidow

              AW, just reading your description had my mouth watering. Sounds like another good sammy choice for me. Thanks. I seem to forget all the different bread enhancers :)

              Cold out of the jar sounds good to me as well...

              1. Doesn't matter if it's hot or cold.

                I often treat kraut like the step sister of kimchi.

                5 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  So does that mean its a part of your family or just politely tolerated? ;)

                  1. re: Munkipawse

                    Yum. There is a "sturgeon & sauerkraut tart - american caviar mousseline & applewood smoke" on The Modern's (NYC) menu that I'm dreaming about trying on a future visit. And while not exactly sauerkraut, there is a riff on "corned beef and cabbage" at Picholine-nyc; I love cabbage, feel that it gets a bad rap here (the US, not Chow!), and am always psyched to see it treated with honor and featured by chefs. Did Raymond Ost do a cookbook? His Alsatian rest. here in Boston (Sandrine's) often features "the 'kraut", and any book of his'd probably have some recipes... I'm not a pro, but maybe search Central European/Eurasian cookbooks (Alsatian to Austrian?, Polish to (Jewish) Russian ?) for more ways to feature this poor "stepchild"? Wish I had a jar in the fridge to dip into! Sorry if I hijacked the thread, sauerkraut just struck a chord with me this a.m.!

                    1. re: Munkipawse

                      More like I grew up eating kimchi (and all iterations of Korean and Chinese pickled vegetables), and kraut is like a wonderful adopted sibling.

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      That's a good analogy! Kimchi and Sauerkraut are sisters. Personally, I also eat it either hot or cold, usually as a side dish. It's good as a kind of salad mixed with grated apple and carrots.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Sauerkraut and kimchi. I could live eating eating fermented foods. I sweat just thinking about rightly done kimchi.

                      2. Hot -- and lots of it -- on a grilled NY deli frank. Or, if it's Ba Tampte, cold, right out of the jar.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: CindyJ

                          I like that brand, and also their half sours.