Sunday, October 16, 2011

Get Your German On

Today marks the start of Oktoberfest, which, for some, is a great excuse to drink beer. Lots of beer. But for me, it's a great reason to make meals involving sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is definitely a food that is an acquired taste, and I've loved it ever since I was a toddler. And when you love a food as much as that, you look for other ways to eat -- besides just on hot dogs.

One year for our anniversary, my parents gave me a slow cooker cookbook. I found this recipe in there and rejoiced. An easy to way to prepare a meal, and it included sauerkraut. Bonus! It doesn't hurt that this meal is delicious, either. It freezes well, too. So do yourself a favor: make a double-batch and freeze half. The only thing easier than making a meal in the slow cooker is reheating a meal from the freezer.

Potatoes, Kraut, & Sausage Supper

Recipe from Simple Slow Cooker Recipes
Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 20-ounce package refrigerated diced potatoes with onions
  • 1 cup chopped green sweet pepper *
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked smoked Polish sausage, halved lengthwise and bias-sliced **
  • 2/3 cup apple cider or apple juice ***
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 14- to 16-ounce can sauerkraut, drained ****
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

  1. In a 4 1/2- to 5 1/2-quart slow cooker combine potatoes, sweet pepper, and carrots. Add sausage.
  2. In a small bowl stir together apple cider, vinegar, caraway seeds, salt, and black pepper. Pour over mixture in cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in sauerkraut. Cover and cook for 30 minutes more.
  4. To serve, transfer sausage mixture to a serving dish. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Notes from the Chef:
* I use cubanelle peppers.
** I use beer brats.
*** I've used both apple juice and apple cider. Both are good, but if you have cider on hand, use it. It makes a difference.
**** I use fresh sauerkraut instead of canned.

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