Despite my history of disliking the stuff, I'd really like to be able to take in some sauerkraut because of its health benefits. I just bought live sauerkraut at Whole Foods, and unfortunately, it's not much better than any other sauerkraut I've ever had.
So.....is there anything I can do to, or with, it to make it more yummy and less.....sour?
In my culture we make our own sauerkraut and we traditionally eat it almost every day. But it tastes differently than the one in Whole Foods.
This is what we do in our culture:
If sauerkraut is too sour, it means it has been over fermented. Then you make soup out of it. Add some boiled potatoes, roasted garlic and onion, meat broth with chunks of meat - there you have it.
We only eat it if it is a little on a raw side - it is called "ripe". We add sunflower oil. Nobody eats it without sunflower oil.
You need to choose the right sunflower oil. The right kind has to be cold pressed and not refined in any way. When you open the bottle, the smell should be very strong, and it should smell like roasted sunflower seeds. If there is no smell or it is not strong - it means there won't be any flavor to this oil.
The best thing is to make your own sauerkraut. I will let you know the secret - you should have a very heavy press, the heavier, the better. Put a plate (or better yet a special wooden circle made out of oak) on top of a freshly made batch, and add at least 20 lb weight on top of it. Some people use special rocks. My grandmother used a glass jar with dumbbells inside.
Leave your sauerkraut at room temperature to ferment and taste it twice a day. When you like the taste, put it away in the fridge.
Have you tried the traditional ways that the French and Germans eat it? If you braise it, you're going to lose the "live" aspect, but you could try very lightly cooking it, or kind of running with the traditional theme and just serving it alongside some of the traditional meats cooked with it - rich, fatty meat. Bratwurst, knockwurst, kielbasa, pork belly, pastrami, pork shoulder, etc - the kraut is a nice foil, and the sour is a little more welcome.
Have you tried eating it with some sauteed apples? That's pretty common and would sweeten it up.
Oddly enough, the way I've enjoyed it most is sort of as hangover/too much wine food with some non-red-meat-eating friends. After lots of wine all night, we had a late night snack of sauerkraut alongside some turkey pastrami. It was surprisingly good.
I'm making my first batch of "real" sauerkraut now, and I'm really curious to see the other answers. I also struggle with a lot of fermented veggies. They are just so...pungent!
Rinse it under in a colander until a lot of the sour is gone. Melt a stick of kerrygold butter in a pan. Then, chop an onion and add it to a butter. When onion begins to brown, add rinsed sauerkrat. At this point, you could throw in some sort of meat or sausage, cover and simmer on low for about 1-2 hours. Or you can just eat it with the onions and butter. If no meat is added, simmer on low for 10-15 mins.
And yes, you will lose the live aspect of it with this recipe. But you asked for a recipe to make it palatable, and this will do it. Another option might be rinsing it, and then adding some melted butter and just tossing together and eating.
I meant to say above to rinse it in a colander under running water.
I dunno...I never liked it until I made my own. Its easy to make at home and tastes AWESOME. I like it in the morning with scrambled eggs. I'll admit would not want it every single day, but hey It'll keep for months in the fridge :)
Try this one before you scoff. You can change the sauerkraut itself--or you can change your palate.
Wait until you're really really hungry and then have some sauerkraut--just a little--before you eat anything else. Then you go ahead and eat whatever else you want for your meal.
Do this repeatedly. By which I mean: every day (once a day) for two weeks or more.
You can add a few caraway seeds or celery seeds to make the flavor a little different.
There really is something to the saying "hunger is the best sauce."
(By the way, this process can work in reverse--if you have a treat that you can't trust yourself around, try eating a little bit of it every day immediately after a meal when you are already full. You should find it easier to control yourself around it.)
Sauté your SK with fennel- or aniseed, add raisins or braised apple to cut the acidity. Braised Pork belly or a slow cooked fatty part of beef will do perfectly. Mashed (sweet) potato as a side works well. If slow-cooingk, use rather starchy veggies to add some texture and sweetness.
Happy cooking :)
Traditionally, soaking the sauerkraut in cold water then squeezing it really curbs the acidity without sacrificing the probiotics.
If you want amazing tasting sauerkraut, take the soaked kraut and add it to a mix of grated carrot, grated apple, and onion sauteed in bacon fat (and the bacon). Add parsley and peppercorns and juniper berries. Put in a roasting pan and add a cup of white wine and some broth to the top of the kraut, cover with parchment paper and roast covered for about 4 hours until it's all brown. You can remove the parchment add a pork roast or some sausages an hour before it's done. Serve with buttery mashed potatoes.
This is 100% amazing and even sauerkraut-haters will devour it. I make it every New Years Day.