How nice am I? Too nice.
Holy crap, y’all! My absolute most favorite thing thing at the holidays is having an excuse, nay, a duty, to make Grandma Lero’s creamy sauerkraut. It’s the best freaking thing since sliced bread. No kidding. Unless of course, like my husband, sauerkraut makes you puke. Then you probably wouldn’t like it. But I’d make you try it anyway. I’d even let you do it by the trash can if you think you’re gonna hurl. How nice am I?
Anyway, the tradition at Grandma Lero’s was to make massive amounts (5-quart dutch oven massive) of the stuff to accompany Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinner. We didn’t have it on New Year’s Day because there was already steamed cabbage (in buttah)! And two cabbage dishes? Well, nobody’s toilet can handle 15 people who have eaten two cabbage dishes at one meal. Am I right? Yes. Yes, I am. And, ew.
If you make it and hate it, it’s because you’re a commie.
Since I’m a fantastic person, I thought I’d share the ol’ recipe with you peeps. If you make it and love it, I want full credit given to G-ma L. She was a fantastic cook! If you make it and hate it, it’s because you’re a commie.
Bacon drippings and onion slivers add flavor to this sauerkraut, which is thickened with a roux and cooked long and slow.
Servings: 8 normal people, 3 of my family members
1 medium onion, halved and sliced finely into slivers (to resemble sauerkraut)
7 T bacon grease, divided
1× 32-oz. pkg fresh sauerkraut or 2× 15- or 16-oz. cans of sauerkraut, rinsed thoroughly under running water
6 T (or 1/3 C) all-purpose flour plus additional flour, up to 4 T
Up To 4 C water
[Begin to prepare this recipe as early as possible. Preferably, when the meat (which is being served with it) is in the oven. It is best if simmered on the stove top for several hours.]
- In a medium saucepan, cook the onion in 1 Tbsp of the bacon grease until translucent.
- Add the sauerkraut to the saucepan. Add 1 Cup of the water. Heat over low heat, stirring as needed.
- While sauerkraut and onion mixture is warming up, make a roux in a small skillet with the remaining 6 tablespoons of bacon grease and the 6 tablespoons of flour. Whisk continuously, with pan over medium-high heat, until mixture bubbles. Continue cooking until mixture is the color of a new penny, whisking continuously.
- Add enough of the additional flour, 1 Tbsp at a time, to create a very thick roux. Remove from heat. Add roux to saucepan with sauerkraut and onions. Stir well. Add enough of the water until the sauerkraut and onions are just covered.
- Cook over low heat until water is reduced by half, stirring occasionally. If water reduces and the rest of the meal is not ready, add 1 Cup of water and continue reducing. This dish only gets better the longer it cooks on the stove. When complete, sauerkraut will be light brown and very, very thick.
This recipe has been handed down through the generations of my mother’s family. This particular recipe is the most desired and cherished of all the kitchen secrets shared. I make this every holiday for friends and family alike. Everyone brave enough to try it loves it. This is a slightly tangy, yet creamy, side dish. It is delicious when eaten as is or covered with gravy. It offers a delightful contrast to the rich, buttery foods traditionally served during the holidays.
Peace and bacon grease, people! And Merry Christmas! Because I’m not even gonna look at this thing until after I eat ridiculous amounts of whatever my sister-in-law is serving Sunday. And when I say ridiculous amounts, I mean I’m gonna get a sideways glance from my husband, who will draw back a nub if he tries to eat my roll!
Yeah, I’m talking to you, Danny. Remember what happened to the elf? Mmm, hmm. Check yourself.
I’m linking this post to the THIS WEEK’S CRAVINGS Linky Party #60. Some wonderful bloggers put this on every week for us food lurkers to drool over. This week’s theme is Christmas Dinners and Holiday Food Traditions. Go check it out!