German Sauerkraut is a popular and classic German dish. Combined with potatoes, Bratwurst, ham or even pineapple, it is as German as it can get. It is cooked and served from fall to winter because white cabbage is a typical seasonal vegetable. White cabbage can be on kept on the fields until it the temperature gets very low; it can be easily preserved, and it contains an high amount of Vitamin C. Way back when lemons and oranges were not imported in Germany, in general Sauerkraut was a main source for Vitamin C. German Sauerkraut tastes really good together with mashed potatoes, or “Bratkartoffel” or just boiled potatoes. And of course Sauerkraut is the ideal side dish for Bratwurst or Knackwurst.
Ingredients Authentic German Sauerkraut
500 g fresh wine sauerkraut (without any spices or additives)
0,3 l vegetable broth, water or white wine; you can use 50% water and 50% white wine
1 medium sized onion
50 g smoked Speck (Speck is a smoked German bacon) - find great German sausages and Speck at Bavariasausage
1 tbsp lard or canola cooking oil
1-2 bay leaves
3 juniper berries, black peppercorns, caraway seeds (optional)
1 splash white wine vinegar
Sausages (Wiener Sausages, Bratwurst, Knackwurst
Cooking Instructions Authentic German Sauerkraut
- chop bacon into small cubes,
- peel onion and chop it very fine,
- take out Sauerkraut and put it into a big pot; it shouldn’t have any clumps, with a fork take it apart,
- add bay leaves, pepper and juniper berries (you also can put these ingredients into a small sachet and add it to the sauerkraut),
- heat lard or oil, add onions and Speck,
- saute onions and Speck until transparent,
- add Sauerkraut, salt and pepper and fill up with liquid until it is covered,
- depending on what Sauerkraut you are using, let it cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes or longer. If the Sauerkraut is not pre-cooked the cooking time can extend up to 1 hour. Add the white wine vinegar at the end but just a little splash; – taste it, and if needed add more salt and pepper.
TIPS for Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut tastes even better when re-heated the next day. You can cook it the the evening before; then reheat it and add the sausages on top so they will be cooked together with the Sauerkraut.
If you like already made Sauerkraut in the jar, which you would only reheat, such as from Hengstenberg or Kuehne, or MILDESSA from Hengstenberg.
In Germany you would buy the Sauerkraut in the so-called “Reformhaus” – this is a store which has special diet, all natural and organic products; they sell normally home made Sauerkraut which is not canned, but is sold in a plastic bag or fresh from the barrel.
If you like to know how to make your own German Sauerkraut check out my recipe: