Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sauerkraut Stew

This is a flexible stew that is apparently rather popular in Eastern Europe. I first had it at a restaurant in Old Salem, NC, and liked it so well that I looked up recipes online so I could make it for myself. This recipe is my own adaptation of several variations. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that nothing has to be measured exactly! I like to prepare it in a crock pot for convenience. This recipe is for a 5-6 quart crock pot.

2 lbs meat (I used beef stew meat and kielbasa, but have also made it with beef and pork - any combination will work)
6 medium-large white potatoes
1 lb Carrots
1 lb Sauerkraut
Seasonings, to taste
3-4 cups water

Cut the potatoes and carrots into bite-sized pieces and put into the crock pot. Spread sauerkraut over the carrots and potatoes. The sauerkraut can be drained and rinsed first, if preferred (I do not drain mine). Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and brown it briefly on the stove. Add meat to crock pot. Add seasonings, to taste (I used black pepper, celery salt, celery flakes, freeze-dried chives and a vegetable bullion cube). Pour water over the meat to draw some of the seasoning down into the vegetables. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4-5 hours. Stir and add water as necessary before serving. You can serve it with sour cream or prepared brown mustard for additional flavor and character.

Prep time is approximately 30 minutes.

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