Uncle Emil’s Czech-Style Sauerkraut

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"Growing up we ate this great sauerkraut w/roast pork & roast duck dinners, often w/dumplings as a 2nd side dish. Every family's treasured recipe has a backstory. 1 day my Great-Uncle Emil (Placek) walked into a diner in Wahoo, Nebraska & was face-to-face w/my Irish Great-Aunt Loretta (Sullivan). She was cooking up a storm, he was hungry & smitten - So it was a fated marriage of “sweet & sauer”. Lots of Irish colleens followed my Aunt Loretta & made this kraut using applesauce. We all overuse the word “best” when talking about things we love, so I won't do that. This is the BEST! (I allowed 5 min to peel & grate + 25 min cook time, but this is not an exact science). Enjoy!"

Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (152.9 g)
  • Calories 128.1
  • Total Fat - 7.9 g
  • Saturated Fat - 4.9 g
  • Cholesterol - 20.4 mg
  • Sodium - 288.8 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 13.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3.2 g
  • Sugars - 4.2 g
  • Protein - 1.8 g
  • Calcium - 35.3 mg
  • Iron - 1.4 mg
  • Vitamin C - 19.6 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

Put sauerkraut w/its liquid, butter & caraway seeds in a large saucepan over med-heat. When the mixture begins to bubble slightly, lower heat to simmer.

Step 2

Place the peeled & grated potato plus the grated onion on top of the kraut & press it lightly into the kraut w/the flat surface of a spoon. Do not stir into the kraut.

Step 3

Cover & continue to simmer (adding small amounts of water as needed) until the grated potato is cooked. Now combine the pan contents (this process keeps raw potato from scorching &/or sticking to the bottom of the pan).

Step 4

Add the applesauce, mix well & taste. Add more applesauce if you prefer a sweeter, more apple-flavored kraut.

Step 5

Now we need meat flavor in the kraut. If not using your meat drippings for gravy, deglaze the meat pan w/white wine or water & add to the kraut. If not an option, add a chicken or beef-flavored bouillon cube to the kraut w/an amount of water roughly equal to what you would use to deglaze the pan. Be sure the bouillon cube is fully dissolved & the flavor distributed well (Using a vegetable-flavored bouillon cube will keep the dish vegetarian). Serve it up!

NOTES: After pan contents are combined in #3, stir frequently to check moisture & prevent any ingredients from sticking to the pan. --- After the last step, you can continue to simmer if you feel the kraut is too liquid, but that is rarely needed

Tips & Variations

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This does have a different flavor and texture from our normal sauerkraut we are used to...hubby ate it but said he didn't care for potatoes in his sauerkraut...I really enjoyed it...but it was on the bitter side even with using sweeten applesauce...made for "For Your Consideration" tag game...

review by:
(15 Apr 2016)