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Authentic Czech-Style German Sauerkraut Recipe

Thanks to my Hungarian, Czech, Austrian, and Bavarian heritage, I've come up with the perfect sauerkraut recipe.

In addition to being delicious, sauerkraut is jam-packed with probiotics!

In addition to being delicious, sauerkraut is jam-packed with probiotics!

Sauerkraut With German, Austrian, and Czech Influence

My Viennese grandmother taught me a recipe for making sauerkraut that is almost a meal by itself. Sometimes we had smoked pork chops or bratwurst along with a steaming plate of this Bohemian specialty. Other times we simply ate Omi's homemade sauerkraut with a little pasta or a warm pretzel. A few days later, she'd make sauerkraut soup by adding a little stock to her dish.

Back home in Germany, my mother improved on this sauerkraut recipe by adding her personal touch. Her son, your chef, has his own interpretation of sauerkraut Bohemian/Bavarian style, and that is what you will find on this page: The recipe for a rich and filling sauerkraut influenced by my Hungarian, Czech, Austrian, Bavarian heritage. Even without the addition of sausages or meats, this is not a vegetarian meal.

Czech it out!

Start with canned sauerkraut, rinsed.

Start with canned sauerkraut, rinsed.

Sauerkraut Prep: What Will We Need?

To make this Bohemian sauerkraut, we start with a base of chopped cabbage that has been pickled in brine. Plain old canned sauerkraut is fine, and German- or Bavarian-style kraut will do. It doesn't really matter what kind of canned sauerkraut we use; we'll drain it anyway and prepare it anew with this recipe. I suggest you even rinse it a bit so our flavors won't be overpowered by too much "sour."

Ingredients

  • 2 quart jars of good-quality sauerkraut. (How do we know it's good quality? It costs more.)
  • 1 pound of smoked bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cold roux
  • 1 large beef bouillon cube
  • 1 cup of red wine... aah, make that 2 cups!

What if I don't want to start with the canned stuff?

You can make your own by shredding, salting, and leaving cabbage to ferment in a de-oxygenated environment for 4-6 weeks.

Let's Make Some Bohemian Sauerkraut!

  1. Fry the bacon strips halfway, then add chopped onion and garlic. Cook until bacon is just starting to get crispy.
  2. During the last 5 minutes, add the caraway seeds, beef bouillon cube, and brown sugar to the pan. Cook this until it's all golden brown and the bacon is crispy.
  3. Add the 2 cups of wine and the sauerkraut and let this come to a simmer.
  4. Grate the raw potato into the mix!
  5. After seasoning with paprika and black pepper, mix the cold roux (equal amounts of flour and butter, gently cooked for about 15 minutes) into the kraut.
  6. Turn the heat to a low setting and simmer the dish for an hour or two.

Bohemian sauerkraut, like so many other stews, tastes even better when reheated the next day. I'm hungry already . . .

Step-by-Step Photo Guide

Cook the bacon halfway before you add the other ingredients.

Cook the bacon halfway before you add the other ingredients.

Add the chopped onion and garlic.

Add the chopped onion and garlic.

Caraway seeds, bouillon cube, and brown sugar ready to go.

Caraway seeds, bouillon cube, and brown sugar ready to go.

Add the wine.

Add the wine.

Add the roux. We're almost there!

Add the roux. We're almost there!

Bohemian Sauerkraut

Bohemian Sauerkraut

How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut (It's Delicious and Nutritious!)

© 2008 Achim Thiemermann

Thank you for visiting this article written by a kraut. You sweetened my day!

charlene Ryan on January 14, 2020:

When I make a pork roast I cut part of fleshy bones and add to my kraut, the family fight over these few pieces, but no bacon just chopped fine sauteed onion and caraway seed. With potato dumps what a delight. I buy the loose kraut in the cooler section...

Chef Jimmy on October 18, 2017:

I use a variation of this recipe for my annual Oktoberfest where i feed 700 people, they absolutely love it, ....LOL, they think I'm German !

Sausage recipe for my kraut on December 17, 2016:

I would like to know if you have a recipe for your favorite sausage and a wine you enjoy with your kraaut and sauage meal. Thank you, Deb Knowles

FRANKIE C, on August 19, 2016:

YOU!!! ARE RIGHT ON THE MONEY!! WITH THIS RECIPE!'

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE ! I, ADD JUST A, PINCH! OF NUTMAG!! IT JUST COMPLETES THE OVER ALL FLAVOR AND BRINGS IT ALL TOGETHER! TRY IT ! AND YOU WILL SEE ! THAAT CHEF FRANKIE C, IS RIGHT AGAIN !

Glenn Jay on January 15, 2016:

I've never made this style with the wine...interesting. Upon tasting it though, the recipe may have misprinted the amount of pepper. Is it possible it should be 1 teaspoon instead of 1 tablespoon pepper? It tastes a bit too hot, and I love spicy dishes, Tabasco, etc.

Steve G on November 15, 2014:

A little old German lady stopped me at the grocery store as I was browsing for sauerkraut. She told me that canned kraut was best because it doesn't have sulfites.

Achim Thiemermann (author) from Austin, Texas on November 13, 2013:

@greg2biz2: I ate it like that for 30+ years in Vienna (from my grandmother of Czech/Hungarian descent) and in Munich (from my mother). Everyone has their personal preferences, of course. Just leave the sugar out, if it's not authentic enough for ya. :)

greg2biz2 on November 13, 2013:

I am of authentic Czech (Bohemian) and Austrian descent and I know for sure YOU DO NOT PUT ANY SUGAR in sauerkraut ! It may be Bavarian style, but not Austrian, Hungarian or Czech!

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on September 12, 2013:

I've always liked sauerkraut, but this is a new way to cook it for me. Now if I could just convince my husband to try it.

anonymous on June 06, 2013:

@chefkeem: Me too, my mother in law in germany made the best sauerkraut, and when I lived in Austria age 7-14 I remember Buchteln and Zwetschken knodel.. It was my hungarian born grandmother who did the cooking. All her handwritten recepies are ingredients only. Thank you for this

Rose Jones on December 26, 2012:

This sounds so, so good! I definitely am going to try it some time. I pinned it to two my boards "savory foods" and "squidoo lenses worth blessing" so I can find it again easily. Yum, and sauerkraut is so good for you. Digg-ed.

rafael-portilho on October 21, 2012:

i love sauerkraut :)

Achim Thiemermann (author) from Austin, Texas on September 02, 2012:

@anonymous: Thank you for your very kind comment, Suzan. Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for tomato gravy with cinnamon. My mom and grandma never made it that way. Perhaps it's a Bohemian specialty, and they never adapted it in Austria. OMG - buchteln und zwetschgenknoedel...I do remember those very fondly. :)

anonymous on September 02, 2012:

My Omi was the head chef at the Hotel Prague right before the war. My mom was born in Blanzko (sic)...but just before Hitler came along, omi took a job cooking and running the trout hatchery at the Konigsee Hotel in Berchtesgadin, right under Hitler's nose :( At any rate....I grew up with wonderful pork roasts, schnitzle (made with pounded, boneless pork chops), sauerkraut (made almost just like yours) and buchteln and zwetschgenknoedel (oh my...how wonderful those are!!) One thing I can't find and miss terribly (Omi passed away in '81 and my wonderful mom two years ago)...is a tomato gravy that was served as a soup with rice. It was a beautiful brownish red, and it had a bit of cinnamon in it. I can't seem to find a recipe for it, and I'm desperate enough to see if I can't replicate it myself. Each birthday omi and then my mom would prepare my favorite birthday dinner....schnitzel, gurken salat mit kartoffel, and spaetzle. Oh gosh...I haven't had that meal since mom died. At any rate...I just found your site and enjoy it very much. Brings back lots of memories. Thank you!

anonymous on June 10, 2012:

Thank you so much. My husband love this recipe. It's different but he say that is very good.

waldenthreenet on June 09, 2012:

I am familiar with the Polish variety with sausage that I used to eat at a dinner in NJ. But not familiar with German variety. Congrads on your Squidoo level 61. Thanks. PS: have to look for German Style at the Deli next time.

Ramona from Arkansas on May 14, 2012:

As usual, Your the Greatest. My Oma almost makes hers the same way.

anonymous on April 05, 2012:

Family gathering every other year to make big batch of kraut, chopping, pounding with a ball bat--into large crock. Goes away for weeks and later to be canned. Am I a kraut? Certainly!

agoofyidea on March 26, 2012:

My husband would love this.

DonD LM on January 22, 2012:

this is making me hungry! I must try this recipe

DeannaDiaz on January 19, 2012:

Just made my first batch of kraut..I can't wait to taste it!

anonymous on December 23, 2011:

Returning to add angel dust to your delicious authentic German saurkraut...my mouth is watering at the thought of it!

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on November 20, 2011:

Sounds lovely Chef, even though I am not the world's biggest sauerkraut fan.

My first experience of this dish was when I was 18, inexperienced in anything but plain old English food. Back then even Spaghetti Bolognese and Pizza were foreign to us. The whole family (about a dozen of us) flew to Majorca, and we didn't arrive at the hotel until very late at night. In those days (1973) many package holidays included all meals, and there were no choices, just one set meal. Well they set in front of us Bangers and Mash and Sauerkraut, which I had never heard of before, and some rock hard bread rolls. Needless to say I didn't like the Sauerkraut, and most nights we went to a local bar that served Chicken & Chips (fries) to eat instead of eating in the hotel. These days I am a lot more worldly wise when it comes to food though. Excellent lens as always, blessed.

anonymous on October 31, 2011:

Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. Us young new squids are growing and can use such dishes :)

One yummy thumbs up for for this fantastic lens.

anonymous on July 30, 2011:

I like sauerkraut but I think your Bohemian style sauerkraut has just moved me up to loving sauerkraut!

mivvy on July 23, 2011:

The Bohemian is also the Czech variety, filling. The Dutch variety is simply horrible, we mix potatoes and sauerkraut to which we added juniper berries. I hated this and ate it with sugar sprinkled on top (when I was a child), when my mother started making Hungarian sauerkraut I started liking it. (I'll write a wizzle about it, when I have time)

phoenix arizona f on July 15, 2011:

Looks great!

ultimapalabra on July 15, 2011:

Great! I love that. There are so many ways of making a Sauerkraut :-)

JamieSueAustin on April 23, 2011:

I love it. I've lensrolled you.

Blackspaniel1 on March 13, 2011:

Great lens

curtis62 on March 10, 2011:

Interesting that is great I didn't know all that. It really looks good.

puerdycat lm on February 21, 2011:

Ah, love my kraut --and yours! Lens-rolling you to my fledermaus and new years feast

LoKackl on April 20, 2010:

Yummy indeed!! I've never been able to make sauerkraut taste as delicious as my mother's and her sisters'. I don't think German had as much to do with their magic as old Oklahoma farm style cooking. But, this recipe might come close! Thanks. SquidooAngel Blessed.

julieannbrady on June 23, 2009:

Yumm -- I think I can actually smell it cooking.

Ruth Coffee from Zionsville, Indiana on June 10, 2009:

I can almost taste this. I've never made sauerkraut as anything very elaborate, but it sounds like a worthy endeavor!

Debbie from England on May 16, 2009:

This sounds so delicious! So delicious in fact that I've featured it on http://www.squidoo.com/saucepans ;)

Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on May 08, 2009:

Sounds like a great recipe....can't wait to try it.

rewards4life info on April 06, 2009:

Hey Chef!

I would like to invite You to join our project http://www.squidoo.com/squidoo_recipes_cookbook and add this great recipe (or any other if you want)! See you there =)

poutine on December 31, 2008:

Loved sauerkraut at first bite!

rewards4life info on December 22, 2008:

Lovely lens. I'm Polish and sauerkraut is a traditional Polish ingredient (cooked in very similar way). Love it, love it and once again love it! Recommended to everyone to try! 5*

KimGiancaterino on December 17, 2008:

Oops! I made a Freudian slip... Relax porcine pals!

KimGiancaterino on December 17, 2008:

This looks delicious, even for a vegetarian. I'll try it with without the bacon, but I'm betting it will still be a winner. Welcome to Culinary Favorites From A to Z.

anonymous on December 14, 2008:

Well thanks chef now I got my New Years eve recipe, oh I forgot we are all coming down to TX for New Years eve and you are going to do the cooking.

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on December 12, 2008:

Delicious idea! Maybe I'll make some for supper.

Pat from Midwest, USA on December 11, 2008:

This looks wonderful. I love Sauerkraut and it's so good for you! How about making a vegetarian version?

rockycha on December 11, 2008:

Love the lens - I'm a big sauerkraut fan, so good for health because it's a "live food", filled with secret nano-bio's for your tummy. :) *****

funwithtrains lm on December 11, 2008:

Wow, this sounds great!

julieannbrady on December 11, 2008:

I am a sauerkraut lover since I was knee-high to a grasshopper! After all, grandma Julia Nagy puts lots of sauerkraut in her stuffed cabbage! So thrilled to find a lens on this tasty food. Yours is the best! Yumm Yumm!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on December 11, 2008:

Ours is usually served out of the can or the jar, but when my husband sees this lens, you know I'm going to have to try your recipe! Lensrolling to my German Potato Salad lens and, hey why not, to my Chicken Dance lens (Oktoberfest and all). SquidAngel blessings to you, dear Chef!