March 17, 2011
Last night our church had a St. Patrick’s Day inspired pot luck! All of the dishes were amazing and of course there were the traditional corned beef, cabbage, and potato dishes! I brought along a pot of sweet cabbage and true to Irish staples, the dish only cost about $1 to make!
This recipe goes way back. My grandmother would make this all the time, with franks or kielbasa. We always called it sauerkraut because that was the main ingredient. The first time I served this to my husband with hot dogs, he laughed at me. He absolutely loved it but he said we had to call it something else. The main ingredient has since changed from the canned stuff to a head of cabbage, but I will provide instructions for both methods.
One head of cabbage, shredded or chopped
Half an onion, chopped (optional)
Oil (I use a combination of olive, coconut, and butter)
Balsamic Vinegar (or apple cider vinegar but it will taste different)
Raw sugar (refined sugar is fine too)
I coat the bottom of a large stew pot in oil and heat on medium. Then I add the cabbage, stirring frequently to coat with oil, for about 15 minutes. The raw cabbage takes up a lot of space, but it cooks down to about 2 qts. While this is cooking I heat a cup of water with about an 1/8 a cup of raw sugar, and 1/2 a tsp. of salt in the microwave to dissolve. To this I also add about 2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar so the color of the water is as dark as molasses. Then I pour this mixture over the cabbage, along with plenty of caraway seeds, stir it in and cover for 10 minutes until the cabbage is soft. I always taste before serving, adding more salt, sugar, or balsamic as preferred.
To make it with canned sauerkraut you first drain and rinse 2 cans worth. Then you bring to a boil in just enough water to cover, and drain and rinse again. The cabbage is already cooked so no frying is necessary, making this a low-fat alternative if you like. From here you add the water, sugar, salt, balsamic mixture and caraway seeds. Bring to a boil and then taste for any last minute additions.
My grandmother makes it by rinsing the brine solution off the sauerkraut, then boiling it with brown sugar. That’s it! There are so many ways to make this your own!
I have since tried real sauerkraut. I’m not a fan, but that may change when I get my hands on a recipe! I’m looking forward to starting some fermenting projects when the weather warms up a bit. What about you? Do you like sauerkraut? If not, I think you will really appreciate this alternative.
Happy St. Patty’s Day!