Friday, February 11, 2011

Heirloom Foods: Homemade Sauerkraut and Kielbasa Sandwich

Sandwich of Daniel's homemade sauerkraut and kielbasa (not homemade) with mustard on rye, February 2011.
My friend Daniel is known for his great cooking and baking, but he's outdone himself with his latest pickling project-- homemade sauerkraut.  My grandmother used to make sauerkraut, but when I was a kid I never liked it.  Luckily, my love of pickled foods has grown over the years, and when I told Daniel that his sauerkraut reminded me of my grandmother's it was truly a compliment.
Crock full of kraut in Daniel's kitchen.

Daniel's sauerkraut and kielbasa sandwich was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted.  And I'm not usually a huge fan of sauerkraut.  I hate the sharp vinegar flavor you get from store-bought sauerkraut (and don't get me started on the metallic twang from the canned varieties).  Good homemade sauerkraut is hard to come by and I pretty much avoid it unless it comes from a reputable source.

Daniel's sauerkraut was something entirely different. We tasted it straight out of the crock, when it was still green and crunchy and it was very good.  Once he cooked it with the kielbasa, it was utterly transformed-- it became soft, silky and almost melted in my mouth.

Daniel is still in the midst of refining the recipe, but I hope he'll weigh in on his progress (and a recipe) as he works on Batch Two.  And I hope he'll be calling me to come taste-test it.
Kielbasa and homemade sauerkraut awaits in Daniel's kitchen, February 2011.


  1. Boy, you made my mouth water...I'm not a big fan of the canned sauerkraut either, and only use a little bit of it in a Reuben sandwich, but the picture of the sauerkraut and keilbasa made me want to try it! We make pickled cucumbers for Christmas, but I've never even thought of trying to make sauewrkraut! I also have to check out your baked beans...I've never made them from scratch!

  2. Shirley- you should definitely try the sauerkraut and let me know how it goes. I hesitate to tell you to try the baked beans, although we liked them a lot. They're certainly "old fashioned", but probably not very authentic. (I'm sure a real Bostonian cook would reel at the addition of chili sauce.) In my defense, I found chili sauce in a baked bean recipe from the 1906 Brethren cookbook. But I think that "Sister Viola" was from Missouri.

  3. Sauerkraut is in the air! I have some brewing in a bowl over here. I'm eating it with fake sausage, there is one brand I found that is really good and a perfect vehicle for sauerkraut and mustard. Also tempeh reubens are delish but I don't have any tempeh right now. Maybe when this next batch ripens I'll get some of that too. Yummy!

  4. Lisa- Thanks for writing. Send a photo when your sauerkraut is done!