HOW TO MAKE AUTHENTIC BAVARIAN SAUERKRAUT AT HOME
When my husband and I met, he wanted to impress me by trying out some German foods. He headed to Kroger, scored a package of German Sauerkraut, popped it in the microwave, and… hated it. Maybe he should have tried Currywurst or German strawberry tart instead.
A few months later, we went to visit my parents and my mom prepared Bratwürste with – surprise – Sauerkraut! After finding out about dinner, he dreaded the moment he’d have to try again and was stunned when hers tasted nothing like what he had concocted.
While the dish is by no means hard to make, it does take a little more than just warming it up, to cook authentic Sauerkraut – and my husband had found out the hard way.
Warning: If you make this, you’ll have to let it simmer for hours – the longer the better. Your entire house will smell like it. To me, it’s the scent of Christmas, since that’s what I’d have on December 24th every other year growing up. To others, it smells like fart.
Don’t let the aroma deter you from trying, though. Having your house, yourself, and your pets smell like Sauerkraut-fart for a day or two is just part of the culture and you’ll blend in perfectly.
Always remember that due to its probiotics and enzymes, fermented foods like this are good for your gut health. They will improve your digestion and even boost your immune system, which totally makes up for the scent, in my opinion.
Prep: 10 min, Cook: at least 2 hrs, Servings: 6
- 250 g bacon
- 1 small onion
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 big can of plain Sauerkraut (the one for 6 servings)
- 1 tbsp beef broth powder (Rinderbrühe)
- 5 bay leaves (Lorbeerblätter)
- 5 juniper berries (Wacholderbeeren)
STEP 1: Dice the bacon
STEP 2: Add sunflower to a pot and sauté bacon and onion until the onion is translucent
STEP 3: Put the Sauerkraut into a bowl. Fill up the empty can with water, add beef broth powder to it, and stir. Add broth to the bacon and onion.
STEP 4: Add Sauerkraut, bay leaves, and juniper berries. Stir again.
STEP 5: Put on the lid and let it simmer on low heat for at least two hours – the longer the better.
STEP 6: Stir occasionally and add more water as needed. There shouldn’t be any liquid left when serving, but the Sauerkraut also shouldn’t get browned.
This goes best with any type of sausage and some fresh bread.