Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sauerkraut mit Fleisch und Kartoffelbrei

Sarah's Sauerkraut and Sausages

Oh, lecker! I was so incredibly pleased with tonight's dinner. Forgive me while I boast and gush. It was my turn to cook dinner tonight; it was cold and I really wanted proper home-style cooking. I decided on Sauerkraut and meat, the way my host-mama in Germany made for me. I didn't have a recipe, apart from the instructions: "just cook it all together in a pot with some Kümmel!" (A.K.A. caraway seeds).

I am very, very bad at cooking without a recipe, and I was almost gonna use Nigella's recipe for speedy choucroute garnie from Nigella Express. However, it seemed very different. In addition to the sausages and Sauerkraut, Nigella's contains a bottle of riesling, some bay leaves and juniper berries, and is cooked in the oven. What? No Kümmel? According to those in the know, Sauerkraut without Kümmel ist scheiße. After realising that Nigella's choucroute was very different from the sauerkraut of my dreams, and most importantly, had no Kümmel, I was confident to abandon the recipe totally and just wing it. (Yes, I just admitted to dreaming about Sauerkraut. Got a problem with that?)

So, in the morning before work, I took out 2 Frankfurters, 2 Knackwurst and a piece of Kaiserfleisch from my smallgoods stash in the freezer, and let them defrost.

Frankfurters are the thin ones, Knackwurst are the fat ones, and that delicious solid slab of porky goodness is Kaiserfleisch (aka the aptly titled "King Meat").

When I got home from work at 6:30pm, I rinsed a 680g jar of Sauerkraut, and fried the Kaiserfleisch on both sides until slightly browned, and set it aside. Then I tipped the Sauerkraut into the pot, and arranged my meat-products on top. I poured a teensy bit of water in there to prevent sticking, and plonked a lid on the top. Meanwhile, I made potatoes for Kartoffelbrei (mashed potatoes), and after about 30 minutes of simmering, the Sauerkraut was ready. All it needed was a generous sprinkling of Kümmel. In further support of the Kümmel argument, apparently Sauerkraut gives you gas, whilst Kümmel dispels gas. So there you go.

Meat-Feast!!! One of the Knackwurst split during cooking, oops!

Mashed potato/Kartoffelbrei. One of the best ways to eat one of the world's best foods.

Immodest of me, I know, but this dinner was fantastich! The meat, from Andrew's Choice, was delicious. I was afraid that this uncompromisingly German dish might be a bit foreign for my parents' taste, (and I did rinse the Kraut very thoroughly so it wouldn't be too sauer), but they loved it too. Unsurprising though, when I think about it - Mum loves mashed potatoes, and being Chinese, they love their pork! It was a very rich and heavy meal, but so comforting, and perfect for sinking into at the end of a long week.

6 comments:

Gemma said...

Your meal looks sehr gut (bit worrying that I couldn't work out to write all of that in German but got an A in GCSE 13 years ago!). I love sauerkraut, and frankfurters of all varieties - yum. I've just tagged you in a meme about the people who comment on your blog at http://dressingfordinner.blogspot.com/2008/11/commenters-meme.html I think you'll like it.

Gemma x

julie said...

Fantastisch! I have plans to make Nigella's express version at the weekend, but will make sure to add Kümmel...

nzm said...

Great meal, Sarah.

We're currently living in Berlin. After several visits to my partner's parents in Bad Karlshafen over the years and relishing her mother's cooking, I finally overcame my fear of being outdone by her and, on the latest visit in October, I started cooking for them!

It was much appreciated, especially by her mother who finally got days off from cooking! However, I cooked mostly easy peasy stuff of English origins.

I'll have to do this recipe for them the next time we visit in December and totally surprise them - that is, if I can get over my lack of enthusiasm for sauerkraut!

Tschuess!
Michele

Sandra said...

Germans rule!


that's all :D

Ursula said...

I am compiling my German mother's family recipes for my nephew's wedding. She never writes anything down so I've looked for written recipes she can fine tune. You have been an absolute treasure! You absolutely "get" German cooking. Thanks so much from Cincinnati, Ohio in the USA

Sarah said...

Gemma - I just started German lessons a few weeks ago and bloody hell, the grammar is hard!!!

Julie - How did your express choucroute go?

NZM - Thanks Michele! I miss your blog, you guys should keep updating. :) I was never bold enough to cook for Sandra's parents. They seem very traditional about their food! I recall they thought cupcakes might be a bit too "out there" for the family, lol.

Sandra - Ja ja, ich weiss.

Ursula - I'm so glad you've been finding my blog useful! I totally love German food and have been cooking a lot more now that I've moved out. I'll be making Schupfnudeln this weekend so keep coming back!

xox Sarah