A combination of fermented cabbage, salt and spices, sauerkraut is a traditional hot dog topping. However, when paired with kielbasa and simmered slowly in a slow cooker, the result is a hearty meal with a German flair. Although canned sauerkraut is readily available, the fresh version provides a tangier flavor and delightfully crunchy texture. If you don't have time to make fresh sauerkraut, most supermarkets carry bagged, fresh sauerkraut in the deli or refrigerated section.
Place your choice of vegetables in the slow cooker. For example, use sliced onions and 1-inch chunks of small red potatoes, green bell peppers, carrots and celery.
Rinse the fresh sauerkraut in cool water; then drain it thoroughly before adding it to the vegetable mixture.
Stir in chicken broth and a small amount of white wine or apple cider. As a general rule, use about 2 cups of liquid for each pound of kielbasa.
Season the ingredients with salt and freshly ground black pepper, along with a spoonful of French, Dijon or spicy brown mustard.
Cut the kielbasa into 2-inch pieces; then stir the pieces into the sauerkraut mixture.
Cook the mixture on high for four to five hours or on low for seven to eight hours.
Serve the hot kielbasa and sauerkraut immediately.
Items you will need
- Small red potatoes
- Green bell peppers
- Chicken broth
- White wine or apple cider
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Always rinse and drain fresh sauerkraut before using.
- If your fresh sauerkraut is too salty, soak it in cold water for 15 to 30 minutes; then drain thoroughly.
- Add an apple along with, or instead of, the vegetables, for a different, slightly sweet flavor. Peel, core and slice a baking apple such as Rome Beauty, Granny Smith or Fuji.
- Real Simple: Slow-Cooker Sausages With Sauerkraut and Potatoes
- Boston Globe: Recipe for Turkey Kielbasa, Apples and Sauerkraut
- Pillsbury Fast Slow Cooker Cookbook; Pillsbury Editors
- The Slow Cooker Cookbook; John Chatham
- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- The Old Farmer's Almanac: Best Apples for Baking
- Johnsonville: Polish Kielbasa Sausage
- Hillshire Farm: Polska Kielbasa
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images