Here's a German sauerkraut casserole recipe, Sauerkrautauflauf, that uses up some leftovers and makes them into a marvelous quick and easy dinner. And what's most important, this is not just a boring leftover dinner.
If you have some leftover kielbasa or ham and potatoes, just add some tangy sauerkraut and cheese along with some staple items already in the cupboard, put it in the oven and turn up the polka music.
Dinner's almost ready! German food at its best!
This is a great recipe that uses leftover potatoes and meat and turns them into a great dish that is truly fantastic.
In fact, next time you'll PLAN on making extras so that you end up with leftovers just so you can make this easy kielbasa recipe.
Don't have any leftover potatoes? Check Oma Says below.
Sauerkraut recipes are great to have in your recipe file. Often, in Germany, sauerkraut is flavored with juniper berries and served alongside of pork, smoked sausages, or kasseler.
That's why using pork kielbasa or ham in this simple recipe is so great. However, if you have any other type of smoked meat left over, use that instead.
For the cheese, I use whatever I happen to have in the fridge. Use one that melts nicely. If you enjoy it as an eating cheese, it will be fabulous in this German dinner as well. I promise, it will be love at first bite! :)
Everyone knows we Germans LOVE sauerkraut (which translates as sour cabbage)! Not just because of its health benefits and versatility, but it is always such a treat... even if we have it all the time!
Do you know about the New Year's Eve sauerkraut tradition? Now, there are some strange and peculiar traditions out there, but this one tradition is known for being the most popular one on New Year's Eve night, just before the clock strikes twelve.
A big bowl of fermented sauerkraut is shared among loved ones, and once midnight hits, everyone takes and enjoys their own bowl of it as a way of symbolizing good fortune and abundance in the year ahead.
Some believe that the number of shreds consumed will be the same amount of positive things that are to happen in the new year.
Why is this you ask?
Well, it is supposedly because of the harvesting times for the cabbages in Germany. Once the cabbages are good and ready, they go through the process of being made into our beloved sauerkraut, though this takes a few weeks time.
By the time the first batch of sauerkraut is ready for eating, it is near December 31st, New Year's Eve! The first batch is always the "luckiest" and will bring good fortune.
Though some families just enjoy the sour sauerkraut on special days like this simply for a yummy treat! It is a very popular dish to serve during Christmas time as well.
Seeing as it holds so much history and tradition, it has become a staple to serve in homes, not only in Germany but in lots of other places in Europe too!
Many celebrate the start to a new year with a hug, a kiss, a glass of wine, party hats, and lots of cheering, maybe by shouting "Woohoo!" out the window... but Germans?
We celebrate with sauerkraut! Yum! ;)
It really is easy to make your own homemade sauerkraut! There's almost no work involved. All you need, though, is time. Time for the cabbage to ferment to the degree of sourness that you like.
That's one of the most awesome things about making one's own sauerkraut. You get to make it just how you like it.
All you need is cabbage and salt. That's it. And time.
I use an E-Jen container because it keeps the smell out of the kitchen during the fermentation process. It's also my favorite way to store my homemade sauerkraut in the fridge when it's at the right stage of sourness.
There are many health benefits associated with eating this fermented cabbage, sauerkraut. It is high in vitamin C, vitamin B, and vitamin K, low in calories, and high in calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
It's even healthier eaten raw. Try it in a salad!
If you can find sauerkraut that is unpasteurized and uncooked, it will contain live lactobacilli and is rich in enzymes. You may need to go to a health food store or the health food section of most grocery stores to find it, but it's fantastic in this sauerkraut salad shown below. Healthy eating never tasted so good!
Then, of course, there's just plain sauerkraut as a side dish that's so popular with many meals in Germany. Just plain doesn't mean boring either.
Take a look at how this Oma makes her sauerkraut so that everyone always wants seconds!
Ready to make this sauerkraut casserole? But, you don't have any leftover potatoes. What to do?
Don't have any leftover potatoes?
Peel (if necessary) and thickly slice raw potatoes, cover with cold water and bring to boil. Simmer until tender which will take about 10 minutes.
During that time you can be frying up the kielbasa/ham and onion.
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