Shredded, fermented cabbage might not sound like the tastiest food around, but just a couple of mouthfuls of sauerkraut is usually all that’s needed to change the opinion of the fussiest eater about this traditional dish. Tangy and packed with healthy probiotics, sauerkraut makes an appetizing side dish alongside sausages, burgers and pork chops. Alternatively, it becomes a meal in itself when mixed with other ingredients like bacon. Some diners prefer their sauerkraut with a touch of added sweetness. If you want to prepare a sweet and sour sauerkraut recipe or make sweet and spicy sauerkraut, brown sugar is your friend.
Sweet and Sour Sauerkraut
Total Time: 60 minutes | Prep Time: 25 minutes | Serves: 5 (as a side dish)
- 2 bacon strips
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can sauerkraut
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- Grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish and heat your oven to 350F.
- Dice the bacon strips, finely chop the onion, and peel and finely chop the garlic.
- Fry the bacon in a skillet on medium heat (oil isn’t necessary because the bacon releases its own fat).
- When the bacon is crisp, remove it with a slotted spoon and place it on paper towels to absorb the excess fat.
- Drain most of the bacon fat from the skillet, leaving enough to coat the base.
- Fry the onion and garlic in the skillet until they soften.
- Rinse and drain the sauerkraut.
- Add the bacon, sauerkraut, tomatoes and brown sugar to the onion and garlic, and stir the mixture until it begins to boil.
- Scoop out the mixture into the greased baking dish and smooth the surface roughly flat.
- Bake the sweet and sour sauerkraut in your oven for 30 to 35 minutes until it bubbles and serve alongside your main dish.
Sweet and Spicy Sauerkraut
Sweet and spicy sauerkraut is another dish in which you mix sauerkraut with brown sugar. In this recipe, gently frying the onions to caramelize them increases the slightly syrupy taste. A small amount of chili pepper flakes add spiciness without drowning out the sweetness, and dill seeds provide an undercurrent of pleasant, milder spice flavor.
Total Time: 50 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 5 (as a side dish)
- 4 ounces bacon
- Small onion
- 16 ounces sauerkraut
- 1 ounce balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon dill seeds
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (according to the desired level of heat)
- Chop the bacon into pieces roughly 1/2-inch square, and peel and finely chop the onion.
- Fry the bacon in a skillet over a medium-high heat until it browns.
- Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on paper towels.
- Add the chopped onion to the skillet and fry it for 8 to 10 minutes until it’s soft and golden brown. Move on to the next stage as soon as the onions change color, or they may burn and make the dish taste bitter.
- Rinse and drain the sauerkraut and add it to the chopped onion.
- Add the vinegar, chicken stock, dill seeds, brown sugar, chili pepper flakes and bacon to the skillet.
- Stir to mix the ingredients and wait for the mixture to bubble.
- Turn down the heat to low, and cook the dish for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring it occasionally.
Jenny Green has a Masters in English literature and has been a freelance writer since 2008.