Sauerkraut adds healthy tang to dishes

Published 9:44 am Thursday, October 11, 2018

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon


The Pennsylvania Dutch – really German – are credited with introducing sauerkraut to the United States. The tart yet pleasant flavor of slightly sour cabbage, known as kraut, adds zest to meals all year long. Kraut packs a powerful boost to your health – one cup furnishes ½ the daily requirement of vitamin C and is healthy and delicious. While historically eaten as a lonely side dish, a few creative recipes give kraut the company it’s deserved all along.


Finely shred 1 pound of firm, crisp cabbage. Add 2 tsp. of salt and mix thoroughly. Mix cabbage and salt in small amounts 4-5 lbs. at a time. Pack into pint jars. Place lid on, but do not seal tightly as air must escape. Place jars in a pan and store in cool place. Fermentation will be complete in 8-10 days. When complete, add enough brine (2 Tbsp. salt to 1 quart of water) to cover kraut, wipe mouth of jar, and seal. Process in boiling water bath.



½ lb. lean ham

½ lb. lean pork

½ lb. corned beef

1 chopped yellow onion

2 tsp. chopped parsley

2 Tbsp. Crisco shortening

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 cups milk

2 lbs. drained, chopped German sauerkraut

4 beaten eggs

Bread crumbs

Chop meats together in a processor. In a heavy, deep skillet, melt shortening. Add onion, parsley, and meat until browned. Gradually add flour, mustard, salt, pepper, and milk. Continue to cook while stirring until thick. Drain well, and chop sauerkraut. Add to meat mixture, and cook until thickened. Refrigerate. Form into medium sized meatballs. Beat the eggs. Dip the balls in egg and roll in bread crumbs. Fry in hot, deep fat until brown. Makes 100.


1 quart drained, German sauerkraut

½ cup onion

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 pound thinly sliced smoked sausage, shredded pork,

   or beef

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3 cups seasoned, mashed potatoes

3 Tbsp. melted, salted butter


Grated Parmesan

Mix together sauerkraut and onion. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. flour. Place ½ of mixture in a buttered baking dish. Arrange ½ of meat on top of kraut. Sprinkle with ½ cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper between layers. Repeat with meat, kraut, flour, and cheese. Season. Top with mashed potatoes. Pour melted butter over top. Sprinkle with paprika and parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.


2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. flour

2 cups milk

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp. paprika

2 cups drained, German sauerkraut

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

½ cup buttered bread crumbs or crackers

2 Tbsp. salted butter

In a skillet, make a white sauce with butter, flour, and milk. Bring to a slow boil and add seasonings. Spread a layer of sauerkraut on the bottom of a buttered baking dish. Cover kraut with ½ of white sauce. Then add ½ the cheese. Make a second layer of sauerkraut, sauce, and cheese. Cover the top with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes until bubbling.


32 oz. drained German sauerkraut

½ lb. pork fat

1 cored, unpeeled, sectioned tart apple

1 small can crushed pineapple

Handful of juniper berries

10 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 chopped white onion

2 cloves

2 cups white wine

1 cup chicken stock

Mix all ingredients, and cook in heavy Dutch oven in a 325-degree oven for 2 hours.


1 24 oz. jar drained German sauerkraut


½ cup salted butter

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 white sliced onion

2 beef bouillon cubes

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. caraway seeds

Drain well the sauerkraut. In a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Drain half of water off and bring to a boil again.  Add butter, and flour, and cook until thickened. Add onion, sugar, bouillon cubes, caraway seeds, and simmer for 35 minutes.


6 slices lean, cut, cooked bacon

1 chopped yellow onion

1 jar German sauerkraut, liquid reserved

1 cored, peeled, chopped granny smith apple

Salt, pepper, and sugar to taste

1 tsp. Juniper berries optional

In a skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Saute onion until translucent. Add apple and cook until almost tender. Add sauerkraut and juniper berries. Cook while stirring occasionally until kraut is slightly browned. Stir in crumbled bacon. Salt, pepper, or add a little sugar to taste.


Pumpernickel bread

Hot mustard

Thin slices of corned beef

1/3 cup drained German sauerkraut per sandwich

Slices of Swiss cheese

Sliced tomato (optional)

Spread mustard generously on one slice of bread. Loosely roll 3-4 slices of corned beef, and place on top of mustard. Spread sauerkraut to cover the meat. Top with slice of cheese. Add tomato if desired. Broil on both sides for 1 minute or long enough to toast, heat the kraut and melt the cheese. Another option is to cook both sides in a skillet in melted butter.


1 pkg. dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 tsp. sugar

3 ¼ cups bread flour

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. softened, salted butter

1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing

6 oz. thinly sliced corned beef

4 oz. shredded Swiss cheese

8 oz. drained, German sauerkraut

1 large, beaten egg white

Caraway seeds

Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in warm water until bubbly. In a mixer, combine flour, 2 tsp. sugar, salt, and butter. Add dissolved yeast and beat to make soft dough. Knead dough for 4 minutes and roll out to a 10 x 14 rectangle. Place dough on a greased baking sheet. Spoon dressing down center of dough. Top with corned beef, cheese, and sauerkraut. Cut the dough along the sides, from the filling to the outer edge every 1 inch. Fold strips across filling, alternating sides. Cover 30 minutes and allow to rise. Brush dough with egg white, and sprinkle caraway seeds over the top. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 25 minutes. Slice and serve warm.


1 Tbsp. olive oil

12 oz. thinly sliced flank steak

Salt and freshly ground pepper

12 fresh, thinly sliced mushrooms

Rye bread with seeds

¼ cup Thousand Island dressing

1 ½ cup drained, German sauerkraut

6 oz. thinly sliced Gruyere Cheese

1 Tbsp. butter or more

In a skillet, heat olive oil. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook steak for 4 minutes on each side until medium rare. Set steak aside. Cook mushrooms 3 minutes until tender. On a diagonal, slice the steak. Spread dressing on a piece of bread. Top with sliced steak, mushrooms, sauerkraut, and cheese. Add bread slice for sandwich. Wipe out skillet, and melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Cover and cook sandwich on each side for 2-3 minutes or until bread is golden and cheese is melted.


2 Tbsp. salted butter

1 lb. cooked, shredded pork or sliced smoked sausage

1 Tbsp. butter

1 chopped yellow onion

1 peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple

1 cup drained, German sauerkraut

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

¾ cup half and half

¾ cup chicken broth

1-9inch pie crust for topping

1 egg yolk

1 Tbsp. water

In a cast iron skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter and cook pork until done. Shred and chop. In same skillet, melt butter. Add onion and apple. Cook until apple is almost soft and still firm. Add drained sauerkraut and cook until liquid is evaporated. Return pork to skillet and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. flour. Cook while stirring occasionally. Stir in half and half and chicken broth, and cook until slightly thickened. On inside of skillet wall, cover entire mixture with pie crust. Beat egg yolk and water and brush over pastry. Cut 4 slits in top of crust. Bake in a 450-degree oven for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly around the skillet edge.


16 oz. jar of drained, German sauerkraut

1 chopped, green pepper

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chili sauce

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. paprika

Drain and chop sauerkraut. Add other vegetables. Blend together chili sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and paprika. Pour over salad and toss well.  Refrigerate.


3 cups cooked, drained macaroni

¼ cup chopped white onion

1 cup drained sauerkraut

½ cup chopped dill pickle

1 cup cubed corned beef

1 cup cubed Swiss cheese

2/3 cup premium mayonnaise

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing plus extra

1 ½ Tbsp. spicy or Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp. sauerkraut brine

1 ½ tsp. caraway seeds

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a mixer, combine cooked pasta with all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Drizzle with extra Thousand Island dressing.

Hints: Savory Sweet Sauerkraut recipe submitted by Elke Albrecht of Mocksville. Juniper berries can be found at Fresh Market on Robinhood Road in Winston-Salem. When buying sauerkraut, choose a German brand with wine as an ingredient as it produces a mild, sweeter taste and not as sour. When cooking with German brands, do drain well but no need to rinse. Full flavored sauerkraut served hot offers a spicy contrast to meat, fish, and fowl. Combinations of kraut with sausages, roast pork, veal, game, and smoked meats are pleasing to the palate. To accompany meat, mix some mashed potatoes with kraut, form into patties, and brown on each side in a skillet. Top with a bit of sour cream and chopped, fresh herbs.