Munkipawse loves sauerkraut, but only seems to eat it with a hot dog from a street cart. “[There’s] something about a steamy, blistery hot dog served in a warm, soft roll smothered in mustard and ‘kraut,” Munkipawse says.
But beyond its enshrined place as a beloved hot dog condiment, what is sauerkraut good for?
paulj likes to prepare his own interpretation of the French Alsatian sauerkraut casserole, choucroute. He starts with a couple of pounds of sauerkraut from the butcher, as well as a ham shank. “I then braise them together (drain and squeeze the ‘kraut first), along with onion, crushed juniper berries, smoked sausage if available, diced apple. … Cook at low heat in a Dutch oven for a couple of hours until the ‘kraut is soft and browning, and the ham is falling off the bone,” he says. “Maybe add some potatoes toward the end.”
Karl S likes the pickled vegetable simmered in wine—especially a Riesling—along with sautéed onions and caraway or juniper seeds. “Add in some diced apple or pear. Simmer away,” he says.
BrettLove dreams of a sturgeon and sauerkraut tart that the restaurant The Modern in New York City serves. “I love cabbage, feel that it gets a bad rap [in the U.S.], and am always psyched to see it treated with honor and featured by chefs,” BrettLove says.
Another tip from MiriamWoodstock: If you want sauerkraut that’s more exciting than the precooked, pasteurized stuff in the jar, try the “raw, still-active, burbling stuff from the farmers’ market,” she says. It’s strongly flavored and delicious, and it’s still fermenting, like old-fashioned, preindustrial sauerkraut. (Or you could try making your own: Here’s CHOW’s sauerkraut recipe.)