This old recipe is most likely German in origin. It was never in written form in my family, mothers passed it down to their daughters and so on. As far as I know it dates back to at least to the mid 1800s in the family. It makes a one pot meal that is good any time of the year.
Versions of sauerkraut were known in China around 2000 years ago. It is believed by some historians it was brought into Europe by the Tartars carrying it in their saddlebags after Genghis Khan had invaded China. The word kraut was not used during the years of WWI or WWII except as a derogatory term for Germans. Following the wars the word came back in use for sour cabbage.
- 3 tablespoons butter or cooking oil or a combination
- 1 ½ lb. of meat (pork or beef ribs, chops, sausage, wieners, etc.)
- 2 cans of sauerkraut (I use the Bavarian type that is sweeter and has caraway seeds), un-drained
- 1 large onion, sliced thick
- 5 or more large potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
- 1 cup or more of water or chicken or beef bullion
Use a large deep pan that has a good fitting lid. Brown the meat in the butter or oil. Remove the meat; add the thick slices of onion and sauté until they are tender. Add the meat, the kraut, the potatoes and enough water or bullion to cover. Simmer over low to medium heat for at least an hour or until the potatoes and meat is done.
It can be baked covered in a 350 degree F. oven for at least an hour or until the potatoes and the meat is done.
Serve with rye bread.
Serve with mashed potatoes if you do not cook potatoes with the meat.
If you have cans of plain sauerkraut you can add brown sugar and a couple tablespoons of caraway seed.
Almost any meat can be used. Ham hocks, pieces of leftover roast pork, beef or ham, hot dogs, Polish sausages, pork or beef ribs, even meatballs. Combinations of meats work well. Cut the different types into cubes.
Serve with horseradish and brown spicy mustard or add some to the dish when cooking.