Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut

First things first...
I like the spelling sour crout.
But technically, it's sauerkraut.
One spelling makes me feel southern.
The other way makes me feel German.
And I'm a southern girl ... & this is kind of a southern meal.
At least in the US it is.

I grew up eating sauerkraut most often with pork roast & I like to make it that way myself.
It's one of my very favorite meals.
James' parents have a tradition of serving sauerkraut every New Year's Day along with pork ribs.
And after doing some looking, I've found that is a very common practice across the whole US.
Started by the Pennsylvania Dutch, is thought to bring good luck in the coming year.

It was also neat to find out that versions of sauerkraut date back some 2000 years ago in China
& has had it's place in many countries, especially taking root in Eastern Europe & in Germanic cuisine.

Fully cured sauerkraut keeps for several months in an airtight container stored at 60 °F or below.
Neither refrigeration nor pasteurization is required {although these treatments prolong storage life}.
Because of this versatility, sauerkraut was a staple, providing a source of nutrients during the winter,
especially before the importation of food & the use of frozen foods.
I also read that Captain James Cook, a British explorer in the 1700s who mapped out lands previously uncharted, always took a store of sauerkraut on his sea voyages, since experience had taught him it prevented scurvy.
Very interesting info.

And you thought you were just getting a recipe!
Lest you forget, I'm a homeschool momma ;)
I gotta do my research so I can be in the 'know' about things.
Even about sauerkraut.

Anyway, back to James, he really enjoys sauerkraut ... & because of that, I make it pretty often.
Sometimes it part of the main dish, cooked together with a meat, and sometimes I serve it as a side.
We differ, James & I, on how we like our sauerkraut however.
He likes it sour & I like it sweet.
He grew up eating it one way & I grew up eating it another.
So, I came up with a happy medium.
The end result is a somewhat sour, somewhat sweet, altogether delicious sauerkraut that we both love.

Here's my general recipe.
Remember, I'm a little of this, little of that, non-measuring kind of cook.
Plus, we are a family of 5 -- me, my hubs, & our 3 teenage sons.
If you need to scale back this recipe, do so.

Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut
2 pounds smoked sausage, any variety {polska kielbasa works too}, cut into bite-size slices
24-32 ounces of sauerkraut, thoroughly rinsed & drained
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1 cup water 

In large non-stick skillet, fry sausage & onion over medium heat until sausage is browned on both sides.
Pour rinsed sauerkraut evenly over top of sausage & onions.
Add brown sugar & all other seasonings & gently mix into the sausage & kraut.
Pour a cup of water over top & reduce heat to simmer.
Let this cook together for a half hour or so, keeping an eye on it.
You do not want the water to cook out too quickly & it begin to burn.
If you want the dish to simmer longer, add in a bit more water.
You can taste test it & see if the level of sweet/sour is what you're looking for & adjust accordingly.
If you think you want it less sweet, only add 1/4 cup of brown sugar to start with, adding in more
until you get it to the desired sweetness.
All in all, this is a pretty versatile recipe & method.

Now, if you want to serve the kraut as a side, or with pork roast or ribs,
follow the same recipe only omitting the smoked sausage.

Here are a few additional tips:
- if you want the kraut more on the sour side, don't rinse ... just drain off the liquid
- if you want it less sour, drain & rinse
-if you want it without much sour taste at all, rinse several times ... you can even soak it in clean water
 to remove as much of the brine as possible {this is what my mom does}
-we are doing lo-carb around here, so I used half the brown sugar that I normally use
 & made up the difference with Stevia.
-I only buy jarred or bagged sauerkraut ... I've heard the metal cans can effect the taste/color
-I especially love the German sauerkraut ... I buy it in the jar at Aldi {a seasonal product}.
 It's a finer cut & a milder taste.

For a delicious southern meal, serve the smoked sausage & sauerkraut with cooked potatoes,
macaroni & cheese, fried ocra, cornbread, sliced tomato, onion, & cucumber.


Monday         Make It Yourself Monday        The Better Mom       C.R.A.F.T     Sunny Simply Life
Tuesday    Domestically Divine     A Bowl Full of Lemons    Titus Tuesday      A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style         Adorned From Above
                   Women Living Well    Southern Lovely     The Thrifty Home
Thursday   Lamberts Lately
Friday    Happy-Go-Lucky     The Thrifty Groove      Farm Blog Hop
Sunday  Suburbsmama    Sew Many Ways


  1. Angela, this looks so good! I just fermented some kraut for the first time. It was delicious!
    Thanks for the recipe!
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

    1. I've never done that, but I've seen it done many times. My mom & her mom were canners. James' grandma says that you should can kraut according to the moon. If you do it at the right time, it'll stay white, otherwise it'll turn dark. I LOVE hearing her tell about things like this. Thanks, Mary, for stopping by!

  2. This recipe is so easy, I want to try it! Looks amazing!! Have a blessed week!!

    1. Yea, give it a try! Hope you enjoy it. Blessings to you too.

  3. One of my favorite meals. We have this about twice a month. So good. Thanks for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

    1. Do you?! It is a good one, huh? Always love your party, Marty.

  4. This looks sooo good, I can just smell it cooking! I love sausage and sauerkraut, I wish my husband loved it too so I could make it more often!!!! This looks so delicious!!!

    1. Well, phooey that he doesn't like it =( Guess it's just a special treat for you every now & again, huh?! THanks for visiting!

  5. Angela,

    LOVE sauerkraut & smoked sausage! I fix this quite often myself and usually have it with a side mashed potatoes. I hated it when I was a kid (really, I think it was mostly just the smell) but learned to like it when I had cabbage rolls at a restaurant that was layered with sauerkraut. Love it with hotdogs, any kind of pork too....and your recipe sound scrumptious!

    Debby @ My Favorite Things

    1. Oh Debby ... those cabbage rolls sound amazing! And, we like 'crout dogs' too. A hot dog joint that we love {that's been in business since 1962} sells them that way & we often make them here at home too. They also sell slaw dogs ... topped with a horseradish slaw. They are sooo good. Goodness me, I'm working up an appetite!! LOL

  6. Well, I have to try this. I love sauerkraut.

    1. It's so easy too ... bonus!
      My husband just said the other day that's it's been too long since I've made him any sauerkraut!