The Best Way to Make Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is probably the most German dish of them all to the point that they were even referred to as Krauts. As far as the wide variety of cabbage is concerned Sauerkraut is probably a more acquired taste. This recipe for a quite common variety of Sauerkraut made with bacon and apple often served with potatoes of any kind, although here I roasted the potatoes and served them with caramelized onions to give them more flavor. The bacon can be omitted to make it vegan and it tastes almost as good.

If you asked my mother what she liked best when moving from Spain to Germany as a little girl she would have said two things: bread and sauerkraut. She disliked everything else but those things she genuinely loved. Every time she would make sauerkraut when I was little she would tell me how she would get it from the butcher’s shop during recess at school. Not cooked or anything, just a handful of raw fermented white cabbage to nibble on. Apparently that was supposed to make me like it, but that is not how taste works. Sauerkraut is an acquired taste and often more popular amongst older people (luckily my mother doesn’t understand English) or foodies. Fermentation was a food trend a while ago, right? Or is it still a trend? I have recently started seeing kombucha in grocery stores and we are usually one to two years behind on most trends where I live. Anyway, as it turns out it wasn’t the Sauerkraut I disliked but the boiled potatoes. I don’t know how anyone can enjoy a bland boiled potato that just falls apart in your mouth as if you didn’t even eat anything. Potatoes and I may still have some issues to work through, but sauerkraut and I get along very well now. Leftover sauerkraut also tastes really good on a hot dog, way better than just straight out of the can.

Sauerkraut (Recipe printout)

Fermented white cabbage often served with cured pork, pork knuckle, schupfnudeln (a German elongated gnocci) or potatoes (boiled, mashed or roasted) with or without an extra helping of caramelized onions. Can be eaten cold as a sauerkraut salad or put on hot dogs.Ingredients:
• 250 gr belly bacon, cubed (omit to make vegan)
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tbl vegetable oil
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 apple, diced
• 1 can of sauerkraut
• 1 glass of vegetable stock
• Salt
• Pepper
• Sugar
• Apple cider vinegarInstructions:
1. Let the vegetable oil come to high heat in a pot before adding the cubed bacon to brown.
2. Add the onion and sweat it out until translucent.
3. Add the apple and sauté for a few minutes to soften.
4. Add the bay leaves and sauerkraut to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Pour the vegetable stock over the sauerkraut and let everything come to a boil with a lid on. Cook everything until the sauerkraut is soft.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving. Should the sauerkraut be too acidic you can add some sugar and if it is not acidic enough add some apple cider vinegar to taste.This is probably the most classic sauerkraut recipe as there are thousands of ways to make it, some are weirder than others. I have seen sauerkraut pizzas, creamy casseroles and savoury pastries that might sound strange even to people who enjoy sauerkraut. With this recipe you can go no wrong, if you enjoy sauerkraut or want to try it for the first time as it is well balanced and flavourful. Hopefully you enjoyed this recipe and have a wonderful day!

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