Grandma's Croatian Sauerkraut

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Hi everyone!  So today I want to share with your a recipe from my roots.  You might remember the other special family dish I talked to you about:  thumbprint cookies!  In that post, I mentioned a couple of other dishes that my Grandma was known for, one of which was sauerkraut, which I'm going to be sharing with all of you today.

First I want co tell you what this sauerkraut is not.  When you first hear the word "sauerkraut", what comes into your mind?  It you're a fan of hot dogs or bratwursts, you might think of a canned, salty cabbage condiment.  If you're a whole foods junkie, you might think of raw sauerkraut, a tangy cabbage topping packed with probiotics. 

My Grandma's Croatian sauerkraut starts with the sauerkraut from a can.  Although each can of sauerkraut is a humble beginning, when simmered together with aromatics like garlic and celery and flavor boosters like chicken broth and ham, these humble beginnings morph into a homey, delicious, and unforgettable dish.

So what's the key to my Grandma's delightful sauerkraut?  If I had to pick the top two things, I would have to say lots of garlic and giving the ingredients time to mingle by letting them stew together on the stove.  But do you know what my Grandma would add to that list?  She would say makes this sauerkraut so good is sharing it with  her "beautiful family" and with friends.  One of the most satisfying things in life is sharing good food with those you love. So thanks Grandma, for not only through this recipe teaching me how to make a tasty dish, but thank you also for showing that the key to a good dish is those who partake of it with you.

I'll "see" y'all again on Monday!

Grandma's Croatian Sauerkraut
  • (2) 32 oz. jars of sauerkraut, with the liquid  squeezed out
  • 1-2 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 pound of ham, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1.5 large carrots, finely grated
  • 2 T. olive oil
1.  Heat the canola oil in a large pot
2.  Add the onion, ham, and garlic, sauteing until onion and garlic are soft, being careful not to burn the mixture
3.  Stir in the drained sauerkraut
4.  Add the celery and carrot
5.  Add the chicken broth from one can
6.  Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly
7.  Reduce the heat to low, then cover the pot and simmer for about 45 minutes, adding more chicken broth if needed.
8.  If the sauerkraut is too wet, remove the lid from the pot and allow some moisture to evaporate.
9.  Enjoy with your family and friends, storing the sauerkraut in the fridge for up to 4 days.  It's even tastier as leftovers 😋!
 

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