About this Recipe
At a quick glance you may say here is another Sauerkraut and Kielbasa recipe. This is a dish that has been made more times than I can count in our family. My heritage is that of a Polish and Ukrainian background. It is an all time favorite and although the ingredients are familiar the flavor varies with the type of potato, sauerkraut, onion, kielbasa and method of preparing. The subtle little additions in this recipe of the vegetable broth and fresh thyme and sage, along with the method of cooking makes this recipe one of the ultimate best.
1. Plan to make this dish on a day when you have all afternoon as with prepping stove top cooking time and baking time, this dish takes about 3 hours.
2. We used half and half of Yukon Gold potatoes and Russet potatoes. Each potato variety offers its own unique texture and flavor to a dish.
3. We used fresh thyme and sage from our garden planter, you can buy small quantities of fresh herbs and fresh is what we suggest for this dish. There is really no comparing fresh to dehydrated herbs and while certain dishes are great with dried, such as oregano on a Greek salad, we suggest fresh for this dish.
4. This recipe is a smaller version, with amount for 4 servings. If you are cooking for a larger amount of people the recipe can double nicely.
5. The potatoes are par-boiled in the vegetable stock in this recipe which starts the cooking process before this dish is baked. The long slow and low temperature baking time gives the flavors in this recipe time to merge.
6. Most times with sauerkraut and kielbasa, sour cream is served. We find this recipe needs nothing else served with it.
1/4 cup butter
1/2 large white onion, sliced into thin rounds
1 cup vegetable broth, we used Pacific brand
1-2 garlic cloves, shredded fine - depends how strong the garlic is
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut into one inch cubes (enough to make 2 cups worth of cubed potatoes)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, remove the stems
1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely cut
2 cups sauerkraut, choose a brand you like the flavor of
8 ounces kielbasa cut into thin rounds
1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
2. Using a Dutch oven or some other type of oven proof baking dish, melt the butter with low heat into the pot on the stovetop.
3. Add the onions and cook a few minutes until soft. Add the grated garlic and cook another minute.
4. Add the vegetable broth,stir together.
5. Add the potato cubes, fresh thyme and fresh sage. Put a lid on the pot and boil for 10 minutes to par-boil the potatoes. Shut off.
6. Add the sauerkraut on top of the potatoes, don't stir in.
7. Add the kielbasa rounds on top of the sauerkraut, don't stir in. Put the lid on and place into the preheated oven.
8. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the lid for the last hour of baking and lightly season with salt and pepper without stirring the pot. You want to leave the kielbasa on the top so it browns.
9. Remove from the oven and serve. This dish is so delicious and has such a nice flavor it does not need anything served with it.
There are many brands and packaging of sauerkraut. Most people that are familiar with sauerkraut have tried several brands and have settled on the one that they find the most agreeable flavor for their personal taste. The current favorite in Grandmother's kitchen is the brand Kuhne, which is manufactured in Germany and is made with white cabbage and salt. The taste is not too salty, and not too sour. It is a brand that you can enjoy opening up and just eating it cold and directly from the jar without rinsing, heating or doing anything to it. We have tried many brands over the years, and some are so sour that we would feel the need to rinse them before using in a recipe. This brand you can use straight up out of the jar.
Sauerkraut that is alive and has the highest amount of lactobacillus bacteria and Vitamin C. This is good friendly bacteria that aids in your digestion. Once you heat the sauerkraut, the good bacteria dies. Pasteurized sauerkraut, which is primarily what we are all consuming when we make these yummy recipes, is not like eating raw, naturally fermented sauerkraut, so if you are wanting to consume sauerkraut mostly for the benefits of eating raw fermented foods that help the gut in aiding digestion, buy unprocessed (unheated) and eat it cold.
Sauerkraut is just fermented cabbage which is made by adding pickling salt to shredded cabbage. Because of the fermentation process it kept well and as early as the 1800's families were making this and keeping it in crocks with lids on them. The crocks would be in a cold storage room and portions would be removed as needed as preparation for certain meals.
What is Kimchi: Kimchi is also very popular and it a spicy pickled cabbage. It is a Korean dish. It has flavors of both sweet and sour with spices like ginger, chili peppers, and garlic. This product is sold in many grocery stores and is used in a vast variety of recipes.
Kielbasa is a Polish term for meat sausage and it can be made from a variety of sources. Traditional Polish Kielbasa was made from ground pork, but it can be made from beef, turkey or a combination of meats. Kielbasa is already cooked so you are in fact just reheating it and making it browned with a nice crisp outside. The skin of the kielbasa can be removed or left on. You can tell by the look if the casing is natural or artificial. Natural casings are made from the intestines of animals and are edible. They are thin and appear as part of the sausage. Artificial casings look like plastic and in fact are made of plastics and other fibers that you should not eat and they should be removed.