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Video:Sausage and Sauerkraut

with John Mitzewich

This sausage and sauerkraut recipe is a modern makeover of the classic old-world favorite. The sauerkraut is mellowed with apple juice, which pairs perfectly with the sausage in this easy and delicious recipe.See Transcript

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Transcript:Sausage and Sauerkraut

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com. Today I'm going to show you how easy it is to make the old-world classic, sausage and sauerkraut. So here we go.

Brown the Sausage

In a heavy skillet (one with a lid), something that can go in the oven, we're going to melt a tablespoon of butter, and over medium heat we're going to brown 1 pound of sausage. You can use any sausage you want. These are Polish sausage, any smoked sausage works great - whatever you like.

Slice up 1/2 onion nice and thin. Turn the sausage and brown on both sides. After they are browned, remove from the pan and in that same delicious sausage-flavored butter, I'm going to saute the onions with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes until they soften a little. The sauteed onions give it a really nice kind of sweet flavor to help balance the sharpness of the sauerkraut.

Add the Sauerkraut

Speaking of sauerkraut, I'm going to use a 1 pound bag. You can get it in cans, but I prefer the bagged variety. One tip is to rinse it in cold water to wash off the brine it's fermented in. I think it helps mellow this out. We're going to add 2 cloves minced garlic to the onions and sauté that for 1 minute, then add the drained sauerkraut. I'm also adding 1/2 tsp of caraway seeds to give it that traditional flavor. Caraway, cabbage and sausage are a natural combination. Then, the secret ingredient: 1 cup of apple juice or cider.

That's really going to mellow out that sauerkraut and give it a really nice hint of sweetness. The earthy apple to me really makes this dish. After it comes to a boil, let it simmer for 5 minutes to reduce. As far as other seasonings - one nice thing about this recipe is because the sausages are so full-flavored, it doesn’t need much seasoning. I didn't even add any pepper.

Cook the Sausage and Kraut

I'm going to add the sausage back in to the sauerkraut. If you don't have a skillet with a lid, you can do all this in a pan and then transfer it to a casserole dish with a lid - same difference. I like to top the sausage with some of the apple sauerkraut mixture.

Throw a lid on and it goes in a 325 degree F. for about 40 minutes. You just want to heat everything through. We're going to uncover that and that is magnificent. You can serve it in tat dish, or if you want to get fancy you can put some sauerkraut on a plate, top with a sausage and I like to serve it with some hot mustard.

If you want to get really fancy, since I used some apple juice to braise it in, I sauteed some apples to serve on the side. That's old-world, home-style cooking at its finest. I hope you give it a try. It's a super easy recipe. Enjoy.
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