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Sauerkraut

First Published in New Hampshire Seasons
Oonagh's Kitchen (Fall '99)

It seems that you either love it or you hate it, mainly based on whether you grew up eating sauerkraut. It literally means 'sour plant' and has been made since the time of the Ancient Romans who seem to have acquired the technique from the Orient. Basically, whether made at home or in a factory, ordinary cabbage is finely shredded, mixed with salt and allowed to ferment, traditionally in wooden barrels.

Sauerkraut is a major part of many Eastern Europe cuisines but I had no desire to make sauerkraut from scratch but all the books universally agreed that factory prepared was not the same thing. What was I to do?

One day while I was at the WMUR ABC Channel 9 studios for 'Cooks Corner', I mentioned this and received the following recipe from Catherine courtesy of her mother. It works, it tastes good and a German friend confirmed she does it the same way. So go ahead and try it, the sauerkraut is not really sour and only takes one inexpensive can of sauerkraut.

Ingredients

1 can of sauerkraut (14-16 oz) Silver Floss brand - drained, rinsed and drained again.
2 slices of bacon cut into thin strips
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut small
4 juniper berries - place juniper berries and bay leaves in conical coffee filter paper, fold closed and tie with string. Then you can easily find it at the end of cooking.
2 Bay leaves
1 beef bouillon cube
Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. In small non-stick pan, cook bacon until fat starts running; add onion and apple and cook covered for 3-5 minutes until softened.

2. Add sauerkraut, 1 + ½ c of water, beef bouillon cube and spices.

3. Bring to a boil, and simmer covered for 40 minutes, add water if it is drying out.

4. I like to add a knob of butter just before serving, add salt if you need it and serve with bratwurst (pork), knockwurst (beef) or pork braised in beer, onions, apples and a pinch of cloves.


Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers a Personal Chef service, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, and makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.
 

Send your questions or comments to CookingWithOonagh@yahoo.com
Last modified: March 12, 2000
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