Tuesday, 11 October 2011

This one is for Kay: Sauerkraut!

Ever since I have started working from home, I've been to my parents' for lunch once a week, with the exception of those few weeks during which I was travelling.
My mum is an excellent cook, and a few years ago, she became moderator at one of Germany's biggest cooking forums on the internet. She regularly posts her recipes there, always using her own photos, and she has kindly allowed me to use them on here as well.
Not long ago, we had Sauerkraut for lunch, and I mentioned this to Kay who is one of my most regular readers on here. She asked for the recipe - here it is!

Meike's Mum's Sauerkraut with apple and pineapple

You need (to serve four):

500 g Sauerkraut
2 middle sized apples
1 small tin chopped pineapple
1 tablespoon butter
1 laurel leaf
8 juniper berries
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons instant broth

If anyone needs an explanation for what Sauerkraut actually is: raw white cabbage, shredded and salted, and left to ferment. With fermentation, not only does the cabbage become easier to digest, it also acquires a very nice "sour" taste - that's why in German it is called Sauerkraut.

Melt the butter and lightly stew the peeled and chopped up apples in it.
Add the Sauerkraut and pour some of the pineapple juice from the tin on it. The spices (laurel, juniper and cumin) need to go in now as well. Depending on the type of Sauerkraut you bought, simmering could take as little as 20 minutes or a lot longer for the kraut to be ready.

When the kraut turns soft and a nice golden colour, add about 4 tablespoons of chopped pineapple and the instant broth (or, if you are not happy about using anything "instant", salt). Stir well and let boil properly once more.

Sauerkraut and mashed spuds, along with sausages, are an unbeatable combination, but of course the kraut goes very well with many kinds of poultry, such as pheasant or partridge.
It is quite the typical autumn and winter dish, and I must confess I have never cooked it myself - not once! And why should I, when my mum makes it much better than I ever could :-)


  1. I always wonder how you look so slim, with this delicious food. I love German food but it's not good for me as I have a tendency to put on weight :(

  2. Why ever WOULD you make it when your Mom makes it like this? Thank you so much for getting the recipe (and thank your Mom too!) I will try to make it but will have to research laurel leaf and juniper berries...maybe some good cooks read this and can tell me if we can get these in the USA or if not, what we could substitute!
    Oh, and in response to Jenny Woolf above (cute kitten in bonnet photo!), Librarian can eat like this because she walks for MILES AND MILES AND MILES!
    Thanks so much for getting this recipe again. You've made my day! (That last photo with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and sausages makes my mouth water!)

  3. It looks like laurel leaf is the same as a bay leaf and I also should be able to find juniper spice.
    AND hey, it is gluten free so that means it's good for my husband too!

  4. This looks delicious! I make sauerkraut with juniper and broth, but never used bay leaf or pineapple with it. I must try this! I get juniper berries from a bush in my yard.

  5. Never used cumin, either...Did your mother invent this recipe?

  6. Meike,

    I am ready for supper! Looks so good. My dads father was German, and so my grandma taught my mom to make saurkraut with port ribs. And saurbrauten and stollen, etc etc.
    I adore German food.
    And Kay, I've seen juniper berries in the spice section at the grocery.

  7. Jenny, my staple food when I am on my own is cheese sandwiches and chocolate... And Kay is right, I do walk lots and get edgy when I do not have enough exercise.

    Kay, you're right, it is gluten free - never thought of that!

    Kristi, I think she did. She is a very creative cook.

    Julie, yes, Sauerkraut mit Ripple (rips) is another classic! Stollen has already been in the shops again since the end of August, but I am not going to eat any before the beginning of December, I think.

  8. Ack - typo! Of course Ripple is ribs, not rips!!! I truly wish there was a way to edit one's comments without having to delete and rewrite them.

  9. Firstly may I say - "May your Mum live a very long and happy life". You might wonder why but that's because of my next comment - you really should make sure you can do your Mum's recipe while she's here to guide you. I inherited Mum's recipe book but some things are definitely not as good as her's. What was that special tweak that she used that isn't mentioned in the book??? Sadly, I can no longer ask her.

  10. Scriptor, you are certainly right about that, and I do indeed hope for my mum to be around for many more years to come!
    There is a certain type of Christmas cookies which I have tried over and over again but never quite manage to get the same result, although I am convinced of following her recipe to the letter.

  11. oh my goodness THAT is one of my favorite meals! I grew up on sour kraut and LOVE it! HMM I think I will go home and make some for dinner! better stop at the market! Hope you are doing well...it has been a while since I have been on the blog! reading lots of posts but not posting...I guess I better get with it!

  12. Hey Linda, good to see you and glad my post inspired you to have this for dinner :-)

  13. I haven't had sauerkraut since my days in Germany. For years afterwards, though, we did have stollen and, at Christmas, we always received a tin of Lebkuchen. They were soooo good!

    PS I still haven't found a potato ricer. I asked a number of friends and some of them didn't even know what one was.

  14. GB, I hope the quest for the potato ricer goes on! Stollen is nice when there is not too much marzipan in it, or too much candied fruit.