The German Meal That Loves Bacon (Sausage and Kraut and German Potato Salad)

9 Dec

My better half is a bacon lover.  That’s a bit of an understatement.  Bacon is probably his favorite food.  The following meal is meant for the bacon lovers of the world.  Even though there are no whole bacon strips to be found, the bacon flavor penetrates every bite.

Sausage and Kraut
(recipe from Sunset’s Easy Basics for Good Cooking, probably the oldest and most tattered cookbook I own)

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1 to 1 1/2 lbs fully cooked sausages (kielbasa, bratwurst, or in this case, Hillshire Farm’s Cheddarwurst)
2 strips bacon, diced
1 medium sized white onion, finely chopped
14 oz can sauerkraut (Bavarian style with caraway seeds), drained
1 medium-sized golden Delicious apple, cored and cut into thin slices
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dry sherry
1/2 cup beef broth
parsley for garnish

Cut 1/4 inch slashes into each sausage, spaced about 1-inch apart (so your sausages don’t “explode” when cooking). 

Heat large frying pan over medium heat.  Cook bacon and onion, stirring until onions are soft (about 4-6 minutes).  Stir in sauerkraut, apple, sugar, sherry, and beef broth.  Cook for about 2 more minutes.  Arrange sausages on top of sauerkraut mixture, cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook until sausages are heated through and apple slices are fork tender (20 to 25 more minutes).  Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4 to 6

German Potato Salad
(recipe from Amy Sedaris’ I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, a book I read more for entertainment than cooking, but there are some good recipes!)

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5 red potatoes
5 slices bacon, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp white vinegar (reduced from the amount in the original recipe because I don’t like my potato salad quite that tangy)
1 tbsp sugar
Dill for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes with skin on in lightly salted water.  When tender, drain, peel, and slice into thin slices.  (If you’re short on time, you can slice them before boiling).  Place potato slices in serving dish and sprinkle with 1 tsp black pepper and additional salt if desired.

In a large frying pan, fry bacon over medium high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan (reserving bacon fat in the pan) and add to potatoes in serving dish. 

Add garlic and onion slices to the pan and sautee in the reserve bacon fat.  When onions are translucent, add in flour and stir quickly.  When four starts to brown and smell nutty, add in water, vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  When mixture starts to boil (bubbling), remove from heat and pour over potatoes and bacon in the serving dish.  Toss ingredients in potato salad to mix everything well.  Garnish with some dill and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 6

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7 Responses to “The German Meal That Loves Bacon (Sausage and Kraut and German Potato Salad)”

  1. foodczar 12/09/2007 at 11:28 am #

    My lovely wife the Rock Star is also a HUGE fan of bacon, which leads me to ask the question: Do you have a favorite brand you like to use? It’s hard to resist the temptation to just get what’s on sale, but for instance, we like Jimmy Dean Center Cut. Also, do you prefer center cut bacon or does it matter?

  2. donnaaries 12/09/2007 at 12:57 pm #

    I prefer center cut bacon when I’m doing whole strips. They’re less fatty and just cook easier. Although, we’ve been substituting turkey bacon (Jennie O) for regular breakfast bacon for a while now.

    For cooking these two specific recipes, I don’t think it matters too much if you use center cut or regular bacon because you are dicing the bacon into small pieces. The fatty ends from the regular bacon usually get tossed in the process anyway (hence leaving essentially center cut bacon).

    I am guilty of buying whichever brand is on sale. But if I had to pick some favorites, I like Tyson’s Hickory Bacon and Hormel’s Black Label bacon. Never tried Jimmy Dean’s, but I’ve always like their breakfast sausage so I should probably give the bacon a shot.

  3. Shane aka Soulslinger 01/31/2008 at 5:07 pm #

    Donna,

    If you ever need to know some places to get some great sausages let me know and I can point you in the right direction. Just a suggestion but your dish might benefit from a brat from Kuby’s in Snider Plaza. I believe the brats at Kubys range from $3.50 to about $5.50 per pound and that gets you about 4 brats per pound (a few more of the Nurnberger style since they are thinner). Also I saw on the recipe that you might need to wash and drain the kraut. It helps the flavor not be so heavy on the vinegar.

  4. donnaaries 01/31/2008 at 5:31 pm #

    Hey Shane, thanks for the tips! Sounds like version 2.0 of this recipe is going to be a much improved version!

  5. elasticwaistbandlady 07/10/2008 at 9:51 am #

    I’m always looking for ways to cram more vegetables into my family. So when I make sauerkraut and sausage I throw in some quartered red potatoes, sliced carrots, red onions, and green peppers too.

  6. Sandra 04/27/2009 at 9:39 pm #

    What was the amount of white vinegar that the original recipe called for please?

    And this might sound horrible to you, but there’s only one place in my (small)town that sells brats…Walmart. And they’re not bad either.

    I’m really looking forward to trying the salad here! Thank you.

  7. donnaaries 04/28/2009 at 6:49 am #

    Hi Sandra,

    The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of white vinegar.

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