Sauerkraut and sausage are a long-time favorite flavor combination. Apples and sauerkraut* are an equally familiar and frequent combination. What if they were all combined, I wondered.
I added some potatoes and onions to the mix to blend it all together, a little homemade beef broth to add both flavor and liquid, and finally a little rosemary from the garden, and voila! A new one-pot meal perfect for making in a crockpot.
When I offered samples of this dish at BelleWood Acres during the 2011 Whatcom County Farm Tour, they disappeared quickly. People even brought back their friends and relatives to have a taste. Offhand I’d say the taste combination experiment was a delicious success.
- 1½ pounds ground beef sausage (homemade with beef from Second Wind Farm, Everson)
- 4 cups sauerkraut*, well drained (homemade with cabbage from Full Bloom Farm, Lummi Island)
- 3 large Gravenstein apples, peeled, cored and cut crosswise into rings (BelleWood Acres, Lynden)
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced and into rings (Full Bloom Farm, Lummi Island)
- 1 cup beef stock (homemade with soup bones from Second Wind Farm, Everson)
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely minced (home garden)
- 8 medium red potatoes (about 3 lbs.), scrubbed and chopped (Half Acre Farm, Ferndale)
- Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Place potatoes and half of the browned sausage into a large crockpot.
- Next layer in the sauerkraut, remaining sausage, apple rings, and onion rings.
- Pour the stock over everything and sprinkle with the minced rosemary.
- Cover and turn the crockpot to high for 3½ to 4 hours, or set it on low for 7 to 9 hours.
- The dish is ready when the potatoes and apples are softened.
* To make sauerkraut at home, I recommend starting with this kit. It makes the whole process very simple. 4-5 heads of either green or red cabbage will fill the jar (about 10 lbs). Thinly slice the cabbage into a bowl. Add about 1 Tbsp of pickling or kosher salt per head of cabbage. Pound the cabbage with a block of wood or a meat tenderizer until the cabbage is softened and the juice is released. Add 4 Tbsp yogurt whey per head of cabbage (the liquid drained away when you make Yogurt Cheese). Be sure the whey is from plain yogurt containing acidophilus culture. You can also add some caraway seeds, if you like. Pack into the kit jar as directed, set the jar onto a tray to catch any spills, keep at 60-70 degrees F., and wait. It should begin fermenting within a day or two. After 4-5 days, taste the sauerkraut. If you like the taste, put the plug in the cap and refrigerate. It’s ready to eat. If you want more sourness, allow the jar to ferment longer, tasting every day or two, before refrigerating. It’s that simple!
Goes well with a Rustic Apple Tart for dessert.
BelleWood Acres, 231 Ten Mile Rd., Lynden
Full Bloom Farm produce stand, top of Centerview Rd., Lummi Island
Half Acre Farm, at Boxx Berry Farm, 6211 Northwest Road, Ferndale
Second Wind Farm, sells beef only in bulk, call for availability: (360) 966-4635