Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Broke-@$$ Oktoberfest Lunch

When I was growing up, my dad often made me sauerkraut and sausage for lunch. I remember that I would wait until my bread got soggy with all of the juices from the sauerkraut, and I would use my fork to cut my sausage (or hot dogs) into small pieces, so that I could enjoy a bite of sausage with every mouthful of sauerkraut. I knew, even as a little girl, that there was something special about the combination of the two: sausage and sauerkraut, like the yin and the yang, like Cagney and Lacey--inseparable, and necessary with the other. Somehow, the tart, mouthpuckering sauerkraut was meant to be paired with the salty sausage meat.

The other day, I received an email about Oktoberfest, and I suddenly remembered my favorite afternoon meal. I am sure that no person of German descent or any other Oktoberfest participant would lend any credibility to my recipe, thus the "broke-@$$" qualifier. Furthermore, presentation-wise, it doesn't look spectacular. However, it is packed with flavor, and will be worthwhile to make, I promise. Best of all, this dish is very affordable (I would venture as far to say that it was "cheap"), and therefore, a meal that is easy on the pockets during these tough financial times.

Sauerkraut and Sausage
1 pkg polish kielbasa, cut into individual-sized portions, or smoked sausage links
1 can of sauerkraut
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1/4 bottle of beer (drink the rest, while cooking)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp brown sugar

Heat the oil in a pan on high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the finely chopped red onion and cook until the onion pieces have wilted and begin slightly brown at the edges. Add the brown sugar and beer, and let the pan's contents simmer and reduce for a few minutes. Then, add the sausage to the pan, quickly turning the links so that they are cooked evenly. Finally, add the sauerkraut, cover the pan, lower the heat, and cook until everything is heated through. Serve with hot dog buns or toasted slices of dark rye bread and grainy mustard.

Oh, and as a side note, when I cut into the red onion in the picture below, I discovered that it was rotten in the middle so I used a white onion instead. Therefore, for a bit of additional color, I added some chopped scallions at the end. As you can see, my preparation was really broke-@$$!


  1. I love sauerkraut too. Just pop open a jar or a can, and it instantly perks up many meals.

  2. I agree CookingBaba, I adore and worship sauerkraut... And sausage!

  3. A quick hint for kapusta/kraut- drain, rinse then add applesauce to make not as bitter. Heat in a pan where you have sauteed onions and bacon. As a main course, also add some re-hydrated Polish mushrooms. mmm-yoso! -Cathy

  4. Sounds very satisfying and hearty! I love how food can evoke such personal nostalgia. :)

  5. my parents owned delis in the mission district when I was growing up. a major seller was their lousiana hot link sandwich which was pretty much a version of the andouille - it popped + bit back when you bite into it.

    your version looks perky + peppy delicious too - thanks for sharing great taste memories!

  6. ooh no I think the presentation is very spectacular and my stomach rumbles in agreement! I haven't developed the taste for sauerkraut on hot dogs, but haven't ever had it cooked up like that either. I also want to try it on pizza Minnesota style one day too...

  7. Cathy, I will take your applesauce suggestion with me to the grave! What a fabulous idea!

    I also love sharing and reading your memories too Marie and Taste Memory, thanks for your kind words!

  8. Minnesota-style pizza? I have never heard of that before FoodHoe, and will have to try that now!


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