The Oktoberfest theme continues with Slow Cooker Sausage and Sauerkraut!
We often have a houseful of weekend visitors during Oktoberfest. The key to relaxed entertaining when you have multiple cottage or house guests is organization and smart selection.
You can put these ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours (or more since it is very forgiving!) and have self-serve as guests filter in at different times of the day or evening. You can keep the Warm Potato Salad on warm setting in a slow cooker for a number of hours as well. And voila! You have a casual meal that tastes great no matter what time your crowd comes in. Or - you can keep a supply of sausage buns beside and serve Sausage and Sauerkraut on a bun with German mustard.
In my English Canadian childhood home my mom used to heat sauerkraut up on the stove in its brine and then serve it. Yikes! What we didn't know then!
Then I met my husband! His mother was an amazing cook. I came to realize that after many years most of my holiday go-to recipes are German! (Wait for the German Torte recipes to come!)
She never made her sauerkraut from scratch although many local Mennonite families do and sell it at the St. Jacob's Farmers Market. That can be delicious but I have no quarrel with regular store-bought sauerkraut from a jar or a can!
There are all kinds of sauerkraut variations too..
The base sauerkraut is the drained sauerkraut, a couple of Tbsps of fat (bacon, pork, veg oil), about a ½ cup of liquid, black pepper. Never add salt to sauerkraut-there is enough residual salt from the brine.
- You can brown a boneless pork shoulder or butt roast with a diced onion and some oil and black pepper and then smother it with a couple of jars of drained sauerkraut, ½ -⅔ cup of liquid (white wine, beer, apple juice, broth) and let it simmer for an hour or two on your stove top. You should be able to shred the roast with 2 forks when you are done and mix it evenly through the sauerkraut. This approach lends a ton of flavour and makes the sauerkraut a substantial dish on its own.
2. You can add a couple of chopped, peeled apples to make a sweet sauerkraut.
3. You can add a teaspoon of caraways seeds to make it Bavarian style.
4. Cook it with sausages and add some boiled potatoes to make a full meal.
There may be as many sauerkraut variations as there are German cooks! But I love them all now!
Sauerkraut is good for you! It is low in calories and they say fermented foods are good for your digestive system.
- 2 28 oz jars sauerkraut (I use Bic's Wine Sauerkraut)
- 2 Tbsps bacon fat or veg oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup water (or white wine or apple juice) You can also use beer if not using wine sauerkraut.
- 12 german style sausauges (Oktoberfest, Knockwurst, Bratwurst, Farmer Sausage or a mix)
- Put fat in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add sauerkraut and stir in other ingredients except sausage. Place sausage on top, cover and let cook on high 3-4 hours or 7-8 hours on low..
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer sauerkraut to a platter. Transfer sausage as well.
- Alternatively you can fill a sausage roll with a bed or sauerkraut, top with a sausage and German mustard.