Some of the favourite holidays that Todd and I have taken together have been to Germany. I actually lived in Germany for a time when I was a child, and have German ancestry on my mother’s side and some on my father’s side way, way back. Todd has lived there several times in his lifetime, both as a serving soldier and then as a civilian farm worker. In any case, it is a country which we both enjoy, not the least of which is because of the food!
Since it is October I thought I would cook us a real October-fest meal the other night, of Bavarian Sauerkraut , Bochwurst and boiled potatoes.
My mother’s father and his family used to make their own Sauerkraut from scratch and indeed it is a very Nova Scotian Ingredient. We buy it back home in wax cartons, much like milk cartons, with the most famous brand being Tancook (they also make Turnip Kraut which is really good). Here I buy it in the jar, with the above being my favourite band. There is not a lot of liquid in this one, so it hardly needs draining at all. (My sister still makes her own Kraut.)
Mom always cooked a piece or ham or a pig’s knuckle in hers and I have cooked pickled pork with mine in the past which is very good, but for today I served the kraut with German Bockwurst, which is really like big fat hotdogs. You don’t really need to do anything to them, except to add them in a layer on top of the kraut about 5 or 10 minutes before it is done.
They are already cooked, so basically you are just heating them through. If you were going to cook them with ham, pork or some other raw meats, you would need to add them a lot sooner and perhaps cook the whole mess for a lot longer. Mom used to have hers cooking for the best part of a day, or at least for several hours.
Mom always served hers with mashed potatoes and that is certainly what I have done for the most part. My favourite thing is a pile of mashed potatoes, with a heap of kraut and a knob of butter melted in. Today however I kept to the German tradition of serving it with simple boiled garden potatoes . . . boiled in the skins and then peeled and rolled in some butter, parsley and seasoning.
A good German mustard is also very nice served with this dish. I don’t like the really hot one, preferring the medium hot, or even Dijon. (Shhh . . . don’t tell the Germans!)
Todd likes his with hot English mustard. He insists that English mustard is the only mustard worth eating. LOL He is such a Brit.
Altogether this went down a real treat. Of course if you were in Bavaria and a drinker you would be washing this down with iced mugs of a good German pilsner beer.
We don’t do alcohol as a beverage so I enjoyed mine with a diet coke and Todd with a glass of milk. To each their own!
A nice crusty roll is also great with this or a slice of a good Rye bread. Oh, I do so love the German Brotchen!!
Whenever we have travelled there breakfasts are always served with heaped baskets of fresh Brotchen . . . crusty German bread rolls . . . beautiful and fresh, crisp on the outsides and soft in the middle . . . with plenty of cold butter for spreading . . .
Fresh jams, an assortment of fresh fruit, meusli, yogurt and platters of sliced meats and cheeses. Ohhhh . . . butter cheese . . . that is so good . . .
Heck, now I am wanting to go back to Germany, if only for the breakfasts. Sigh . . .
prep time: 10 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 50 mins
This makes the perfect Octoberfest meal served with some boiled potatoes, German sausages and a good hot mustard!
1 TBS bacon drippings or butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
650g jar of mild wine sauerkraut (about 23 ounces)
1 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
120ml chicken stock, cooking sherry or boiling water.
Heat the fat in a medium sized saucepan (with a lid) over medium
low heat. (I use my La Creuset cast iron casserole) Add the onion and
cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent. Drain the
sauerkraut and rinse if necessary. Add to the pot along with the brown
sugar, caraway seeds and diced apple. Add the stock/sherry/water. Stir
well together, then reduce to a really low temperature and cover
tightly. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, until almost all of the liquid has
been absorbed. Serve hot.
Note – If you are
serving hot dogs or bochwurst with this, layer them in the pot for the
last 5 to 10 minutes or cook time to heat through. Serve a portion of
sausage with some of the kraut and some boiled potatoes for a genuinely
authentic German Meal.
We both really enjoyed this change of pace . . . October and German food go together like peas and carrots! Guten Appetit! Mahlzeit! Happy Octoberfest!