How to Make Authentic German Sauerkraut

german sauerkraut
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Learn today  how to make authentic German Sauerkraut, a very popular and classic German dish. It is combined with potatoes, Bratwurst, ham or even pineapple. Sauerkraut is normally 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 by Germany, in general Sauerkraut was a main source for Vitamin C during the winter months. German Sauerkraut tastes really good together with mashed potatoes, or “Bratkartoffeln” (fried potatoes) or just boiled potatoes. And of course Sauerkraut is the ideal side dish for Bratwurst or Knackwurst. Happy Cooking!

Ingredients Authentic German Sauerkraut

500 g fresh wine sauerkraut (without any spices or additives) from the jar or can
0,3 l vegetable broth, water or white wine; you can use 50% water and 50% dry white wine – How to make Vegetable Broth –
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 clarified butter
1-2 bay leaves
3 juniper berries, black peppercorns, caraway seeds (optional)
1 splash white wine vinegar
Sausages (Wiener Sausages, Bratwurst, Knackwurst)
authentic German Sauerkraut

Cooking Instructions Authentic German Sauerkraut

– Cut bacon into small cubes,
– Peel onion, chop it very fine,
– With a fork remove Sauerkraut from the jar, tear it apart, it should not have any clumps.
– Place in big pot.
– Add bay leaves, pepper and juniper berries (you also can put these ingredients into a small spice bag and add it to the sauerkraut),
– Heat lard or butter,
– Add onions and bacon, saute until transparent,
– Add Sauerkraut, salt and pepper to taste, fill up with liquid until it is covered,
– Depending on what Sauerkraut you are using the cooking time may vary.
– From the jar it takes on low heat 20-30 minutes. Raw Sauerkraut takes more than 1 hour. 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

.german 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:

Go to the recipe How to make your Sauerkraut from Scratch


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4 Comments on “How to Make Authentic German Sauerkraut

  1. My grandmother use to make a sauerkraut recipe called Sauerkraut and Booktas or Bookties I would love to find this receipe.. I remember this as a child and she made it at every hoilday as it was every one favorite…she never wrote the receipe down it was in head…Please help me find the recipe thank you

  2. I was so excited to see someone else ask about Booktas (or Bookties). Please let me know if there was ever an answer on a recipe. My German/Polish/Czech/Austrian grandmother made them with Pork and Sauerkraut. Delicious kind of potato dumpling kind of thing. It seems like it was about 20 things done to a potato. Like boil it then mash it then fry it. I just don’t know. Would love to find the magical recipe. Thank you!