Today I got a special treat for you all and I know already some of my readers are going to be over the top excited! I am inviting you today to join me on a middle European treat, a very traditional dish combination, flavors which will literally beam your spirits to the mountain region of my Ancestors.
Some months ago, when the Masala Herb blog was still an infant, I had shared a post in collaboration with my mum. We had shared our family secrets, the making of homemade precious Sauerkraut! For those who had missed it and are wondering what the heck that sauer thing is, well… Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage fermented with Salt and seasoning over a couple of weeks. It is an all-time favorite, especially over the freezing winter months, it is a must! In fact, it is an old tradition in Europe and before everybody used to prepare their own batch at home. Sauerkraut is very healthy too, stuffed with Vitamin C (Antioxidants) it used to be an essential delicacy for sailors since they had no other way to take in Vitamin C to prevent scurvy. But the cabbage dish is actually much older, in fact, the Chinese and roman had reports of their own fermented superfood more than 2000 years back. Surely they knew what they were doing, right?
With time my folks created the absolute most perfect combination of flavors and dish types together with Sauerkraut. So, if you are looking for a killer Sauerkraut plate which will blow your mind and take your taste experience to another level, then you have to try it all together with some homemade easy to prepare Knödel and if you are an omnivore then you can’t miss accompanying the juicy aroma of REAL sausages to your Alpine experience. Kids by the way love Sauerkraut and commonly the whole plate. It’s homely, comforting and smooth, so in general, it is a dish which can be eaten at any time of the year, not just in winter.
I had posted a Sauerkraut cooking recipe in my home made Sauerkraut post before, but a slightly different version and without step by step pictures to guide and help you with your own making. So this recipe down there is going to come handy anyway! Even Knödel recipes are not new to the Masala Herb page. There are a couple of savory and sweet Knödel dumpling recipe in this space for you to discover!
- 150 g dry/stale Semmelbread or simple white bread (ready packed pieces or simple bread into pieces)
- Handfull Parsley - chopped
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tbs Butter
- 1 Onion - chopped
- pinch Salt
- pinch Pepper
- 60 ml Milk
- 450 g Homemade Sauerkraut
- 1 Onion - cut into slices
- 2 Bay leaves
- 10 Pepper balls
- 1 Tbs Cumin seeds
- 3 Juniper balls
- 1 Glass Water
- 140 ml Beer
- small Lard breast piece
- Sausage of choice ( I used big Knacker, Bavarian white Sausage, St.Johanner and Frankfurter)
- ½ Tbs White Flour
- Chop the Onion and fry with the butter in a pan till translucent and keep aside to cool.
- Chop the parsley. I used 2 different types as shown here but you will be fine with one of the 2 types.
- In a bowl combine the bread pieces, Parsley, Egg, cooled butter Onion, Salt, Pepper and Milk.
- With your hand mix it all well to a moist dough and let it stand for 10 min, so that the flavores combine well. (That bread in the picture is a typical Semmel bread from the Austrian Alps)
- Now keep a deep pot with water to boil slowly. We will need it to cook the Knödel.
- Continue by forming the Knödel into round tight balls. Be sure that it is tight or the Knödel might fall apart while cooking.
- The water in the pot should be boiling now. Take the heat down to medium and let it cook slowly. Now with a slotted spoon drop the Knödel carefully into the water one by one. If the water is bubbling too much, it might open up the Knödels and we don't want that! Let it cook for 5-10 minutes till the Knödels swim on top of the water. Take them out and leave them to drain on a paper towel. Keep aside.
- Open up your fermentation pot and close your nose, because it's going to stink heavily! ^.^ Take out the 2 stone halfs and remove any Sauerkraut on it. Rinse the stones well and keep them aside.
- Grab a cooking pot and remove the Sauerkraut which you are going to cook now. Before closing back the fermentation pot, place back in the 2 stone half's so that they press down the remaining Sauerkraut inside.
- Keep your Cooking pot with the Sauerkraut on low heat and add in one by one on top of the Sauerkraut the sliced Onion, Bay leaves, Pepper balls, Cumin seeds, Juniper balls, Water and Beer. Don't add any Salt, the Sauerkraut is salted enough!
- Mix it all a bit and continue adding now the meats on top. Vegetarians can omit this step. We add the meats because they give flavor to the whole Sauerkraut dish, plus you won't need to take out another pot just for cooking the meats but if you intend to add the white Bavarian sausage to your meal, then please cook that one separately either by boiling it in some water or by frying it with little oil in a pan!
- Cook the Sauerkraut and sausages for 30 minutes covered on medium to slow heat and serve it all hot with the Semmelknödel. Enjoy!