The best sauerkraut might sound like an oxymoron to some. It is simply one of my most favorite foods. Actually, I have good control when it comes to food but it flies out the window when it comes to German cuisine. The Blog Tech requested hot German potato salad so I had to make sauerkraut and kielbasa to go with it. The salad recipe will come later.
The secret to good sauerkraut is to cook it with some pork that has a bit of fat on it. I like to use pork steaks though some choose to use ribs. The fat gets thrown away when you flake the meat at the end of the cooking time.
Dip the steaks in some seasoned flour. I seasoned them with salt, pepper and Pensey's pork chop seasoning. Fry them in a bit of oil until they form a crisp golden crust. Remove them from the pot and set them aside.
Add 1 large sliced onion to the pot and fry until it starts to soften.
Scrape all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
Sprinkle the onion with about 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds.
Add 1 cup of beef stock.
Enrich it with a heaping tablespoon of beef demi glace.
Add 2 large bags of sauerkraut with it's juice.
Add 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar.
Add the pork steaks and their juices, 2 smoked pork chops and some kind of smoked sausage. I like to use Debreziner because it flavors the kraut but retains it's taste. Cover the pot and bake at 325 degrees for several hours until the meat is falling apart.
Remove all the meat and strip it of any fat. Shred the meat and cut up the sausage and return it to the kraut. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Stir in about 1/3 cup of sour cream.
I think one of the main reasons that some people don't like sauerkraut is because they have never had it made correctly. Prepared like this it is a rich, slightly creamy and very savory dish. And it is almost time for Oktoberfest.