Monday, September 25, 2017

Joey's Sauerkraut and Sausage Casserole


 Whenever I'm planning to have friends over for dinner, my first question is "what is your favorite food?" Dinner is almost guaranteed to be a success if you cook someone's favorite, am I right? So when I asked my friend, Anthony, what his favorite dish is, he said that he loves sauerkraut! I immediately thought of my brother, Chris, who makes the BEST homemade sauerkraut EVER! Perfect! But now, I can't just serve a bowl of sauerkraut. I need to make this into more of a dinner. (Although, I'm sure Anthony wouldn't have minded one bit). Then I figured, why not turn it into something even more fabulous! I added some smoked sausage, some aromatics, and a few fresh herbs. Boom! We have a casserole! Basically, I just started throwing a few things into the pan, and it all seemed to work out perfectly! Anthony loved it, and I must say I did too. Oh, and I also got full approval from Chris, who is already working on the next big batch of sauerkraut! (I'm really gonna have to do a how-to video with him one of these days.)
 So if sauerkraut is high on your list of food faves, you should give this a try. It's seriously everything you want a sauerkraut casserole to be!



4 tbs butter
1 lb kielbasa or other smoked sausage
1 large onion, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 lb sauerkraut, drained
4 large red potatoes, roughly diced
2 tbs brown sugar
a few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stem
a few sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed from the stem
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350ºF.
In a large skillet, melt the butter. Slice sausage into coins and saute over medium heat until browned. Add onions and garlic. Continue to saute a few minutes longer,, until onions have softened. Meanwhile, add remaining ingredients to a large bowl. Add sausage mixture and toss all ingredients until well combined. Pour all into a casserole dish, and cover with foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  Can serve with a big dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Note- if you want to save a little time, chop your potatoes into smaller chunks. Larger pieces take longer to cook!

Tips:
As always, whenever I'm making a casserole, the amounts in the recipe are just guidelines. If you like a lot of onions, add a lot of onions! If you worship in the house of garlic, go for it! Make it the way YOU like it!
Not a fan of kielbasa? Add any other kind of sausage you like! Of course it would be great with hot dogs. You could even do it with chunks of boneless pork! Yum.
I always prefer fresh herbs to dried, but if you only have dried herbs, use 'em! I would say probably just about a half tsp of each, but add as much or as little as you like!
Another variation would be to add a diced apple to the onions as you saute. That would be a delicious hit of sweet with the sour! Hmm.. I think I'll do that next time!
Oh, btw, I didn't rinse the sauerkraut. I always feel like that just washes away all that delicious flavor. But if your palate finds sauerkraut to be a bit harsh, then by all means give it a good rinse!

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