Thursday, February 10, 2011

Old Family Sauerkraut Recipe

Hello Everyone,

It's been a while since writing something on my blog so I was going through my recipes on my system and found this one I got straight from my mother. We used this when we catered for the 20 some odd years when I was growing up and even before I used to help.

I know 'Eww Sauerkraut', but this is a sweet German Sauerkraut. This was a old recipe that goes back a while and I thought to preserve it I would put it out for people to enjoy. I haven't made this in the new house, well because it will stink it up for a few days :o)

Anyway for the daring here is the recipe that is a few generations old.... Oh just a side note when making this purchase the sauerkraut in the jars. Used to be in bags when we did catering, but the jars help in setting this up...anyway here we go...


3 Jars of Sauerkraut
1 pound of bacon per 3 jars
3 Regular size onions (yellow or white NOT RED)
Water (this is where we use the jars)
1 Tsp of Granulated Garlic
1 Tsp of Salt
1/3 of a cup of sugar and add more to taste to take away the bitterness.
Ground Fresh Pepper to taste 1 Tbsp or more
One Smoked Polish Sausage

Open the jars (3) of Sauerkraut you have purchased and drain them in a colander over the sink while preparing the other ingredients.

Take the bacon and cut into small pieces. Put into a pot and cook till almost done. It is important to not let the bacon burn. If it does burn, start again or it will ruin the taste of the dish. Watch to see when the bacon is near being done. Leave the bacon and the grease in the pot to cook the onions in.

Now we grab the onions and cut them up and add to bacon. Saute with bacon until onions are translucent making sure that they do not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.

Once onions are done then take the Sauerkraut and add it to the pot and mix with the bacon and onions. Mix for about a minute to make sure the bacon and onions mix properly.

Now this is where we take the jar and fill it half full of water for every jar of Sauerkraut. (So basically one and a half jars of water) and once this is done add the garlic, salt, sugar and pepper.

Mix all these together and now cover the Sauerkraut and put the stove on simmer. Mixing about every 5 to 10 minutes to keep it burning to the bottom of the pot. The cooking time should be about an hour and a half or more.

The Smoked Polish Sausage should be cut at a 45-degree angle and about ½ to ¾ of an inch in thickness and mixed in when time is almost up. Since this is pre cooked all we are looking for is for it to add its flavor to the Sauerkraut and get warmed by the final cooking process.

You will be able to tell when it is done when the Sauerkraut still has its firmness but is no longer crunchy.

(This recipe was used for catering thus the next sentance.)

Once it is cooked then let it sit and cool down if your making this for another night. Do not store it hot; this must be cooled down first. Then store it in an airtight container and store in the fridge. Since this will sit over-night it will allow the juices and all the tastes to mix even more and give a more robust flavor the next day.

This is great warm and fresh straight from the pot. Now all I need to do is get how to make dumplings out of my mom and we have half a meal. This is great on Brats or Roasted Chicken or even with Breaded pork tenderloin.

Well anyway if you try it let me know. It is a great dish and should be tried once. ENJOY!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What to do with left over steak....

When I make steak I make ALOT!! One thing people ask me when I cook so much steak is how long I will be eating leftovers, well only maybe a day or two.....

When I get steaks from Sam's Club I usually over buy for a reason. Once we have the steaks and they are away in the fridge, I am planning the meal for them, well not planning just letting the wife know we will be having Fajitas or Quesadillas.

The steaks from Sams are quite thick about a inch and a half. So when I cut them up for these recipes I usually cut them thin then cut those pieces in half or thirds depending on the thickness of the steak.

Now mind you when I get the steak I get the 4 Top Sirloin's per package. If you have been to Sams you know which ones I am talking about.

Once all the steak is cut up I then take my steak spice I created and sprinkle it over the cut steak and mix it in. Then in the pan I put about 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Once the steak is seasoned and not cold anymore.

This is where you let the meat come to room temp. I know it has been cooked before now, BUT if the cooked meat is cooked cold it will be much tougher than you think. My steaks are usually medium to medium rare so when I cut them up and season them it is usually long enough for them to warm up properly.

Now depending on how much steak you have left over and how big is your biggest pan I slice up the Peppers, and the Onions. Usually I have 2 green 2 red and 2 yellow or orange. Just to give it color.

Once the steak is in the pan turn it on to high and let the meat finish cooking till there is no more pink mixing it making sure it doesnt burn.

Once the meat is done I do it a little differently than what the package of Fajita mix calls for. They say remove the meat and then add the veggies and once the veggies are done re-add the meat. I just leave the meat in and add the veggies.

Turn down the heat to medium-high and stir in the veggies until they are well mixed and then close the lid. Keep a eye on it and stir it every few minutes so as not to burn the veggies and steak. After say 5 minutes add the spices from the Fajita seasoning and about a half a cup of water. Stir it all in well making sure to turn it all over at least once then cover, letting the top sit a little off to let the steam out.

Every couple of minutes stir it to ensure you have brought everything from the bottom to the top and the top to the bottom and close it. Do this until basically you see what you see in the picture above.

Cooking time will vary depending on how much meat and veggies you have. Me, well mine takes about 15 to 20 minutes once I add the spices. Might take less when there is not as much in the pan so keep a eye on it judge it, I trust ya....

Once it is done get the fixins out and eat and enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grilling vs BBQ

Well as suggested by one of the readers I think it is time to address the issue between these two types of cooking outdoors...

I guess the best way to describe this is to break it down into two categories since there really only are two, well some would consider there are more, but we will keep it to these two for now.

Grilling - Grilling has been done since the time man threw a piece of meat on the grill and cooked it to the desired doneness he wanted. All that this entails is putting meat over hot coals or gas, depending on what your grill is, and cooking it the way you like it. This is best done with meats that are tender already like steaks and chicken. Cook these to long and they will be hard and dry like a hockey puck. Also other grilling fare that everyone knows are Beef Patties, Hot Dogs, Brats, skewers, seafood, etc.

BBQ - This is the low and slow method of cooking meats that can stand more of the low and slow method of cooking. Where Grilling is cooking meat for maybe up to 45 minutes ( say beer can chicken ) BBQ is cooking the meat for at LEAST 2 to 4 hours up to 24 hours! Allowing the more hardier meats time to tenderize and gather the flavors bestowed upon them by their creators (the Pit Master) to ensure a great experience when it comes time to eat.

So lets break it down to what we know-

Grilling - Reserved for Steaks, Beef (or any other meat) Patties, Hot Dogs, Chicken, Brats, Skewers, Fish, Vegetables, etc..

BBQ - This is for the more hardier meats that need a little more time to cook and baste in their own juices to become more tender such as, Beef Brisket, Ribs, Tri-Tip, Pulled Pork, etc. With these meats the longer the time to cook at the right temp's means more tender meat and more intense flavors.

Now you can use wood to smoke in both cases to give flavor to your meats. It is more common to have it in the BBQ arena, but you can have a smoker when grilling like a small smoke box and wood chips of your choice to add some extra outdoorsy type of tastes to your grilling mastery.One of the more common ones is Hickory for smoking or Applewood or Cherry. My favorite is Jack Daniels chips made out of the old whisky barrels. Here is a great site for finding things just like that:

Northwoods Smoke

For those of you who would love to see what the whole BBQ scene is about. Here is a site dedicated to competitions, Sauces, Festivals, and yes even hot sauce festivals:
BBQ Festivals

Well hope that this helps in knowing the difference between the two.

Yes we all say (even me) 'Hey come on over well have a family barbecue', when all we are cooking is steaks, veggies, chicken, hot dogs, etc....

Now if you can think of a new way to say 'Hey come on over, we are going to have a family Grill!' let me know, barbecue is what the masses are familiar with and it seems ok to me to say that when having a large gathering of people for some great steaks and whatever...