Once upon a time the Gluttons spent a few memorable days in Cleveland, Ohio where we became fairly enamored with the city. Great eats, peeps, and establishments left us with an impression that was the opposite of the opening scene of the movie Major League…
However, while attending an early summer game at Progressive Field, home of the Indians, the concession stands left us with one unshakable disagreeable impression of “C-town.” Specifically, we ordered a bratwurst and sauerkraut only to be served a lackluster brat with cold sauerkraut presented in a small plastic packet similar to that of ketchup, mustard, or relish.
As a serious gluttons for sauerkraut and new fans of Cleveland, we felt/feel the concession provider’s subparness was an insult to our new found friends. So to compensate for the stadium’s in inadequacies we offer up a traditional sauerkraut recipe as part of the MLB Recipe Series that you’re likely to find at a given Bavarian biergarten or regional festival.
The recipe includes classic components such as juniper berries, bay leaves, bacon, and Riesling wine. But the key spice that makes this sauerkraut authentic is the inclusion of caraway seeds. The caraway imparts a seedy licorice flavor that harmonious blends with the other ingredients producing a superior kraut that shames anything out of a packet or a jar.
So load up your preferred bratwurst, kielbasa, or sausage of choice with this sauerkraut recipe because it’s likely to make to you more jacked up than cheering for Ricky Vaughn making a relief appearance.
- 14oz sauerkraut (Gundelsheim recommended)
- 1 small yellow onion (finely diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely diced)
- 4 strips thick cut bacon (roughly chopped)
- 2-3 cups Riesling
- 2 ½ caraway seeds
- 10 juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tsp sugar*
*Include the sugar if you’re using a dry Riesling and forgo with a sweeter Riesling.
- In a large/medium pot over medium heat, saute up some bacon until 2/3rds cooked. Remove the bacon and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Add the onions to the pot. Season with salt/pepper and saute for around 10 minutes.
- Liven up the party with some garlic. Cook for another 10 minutes or so.
- Introduce the sauerkraut and bacon to the pot…
- …as well as the Riesling and remaining spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1-2 hours. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with sausage, bread, and your favorite Bavarian mustard like Handlmaier’s sweet mustard.
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