Author Notes: When I was little, I hated sauerkraut, eating it was absolute punishment. Unfortunately, my family made a lot of it. Slowly simmered on the stove and then briefly baked in the oven. It was wholesome and nutritious during the long winters when fresh fruits and vegetables were not available. And every time I made a face, my dad would tell a story of Admiral Nelson and how he used to carry sauerkraut on his ships to fight scurvy. Then, over the years I warmed up to it. In my mind sauerkraut evokes the flavors of something sweet, to fight its sometimes harsh acidity. It calls for herbs and garlic. A touch of caramel from long baking in the oven. When I feel really indulgent, it calls for bacon. And that is how I arrived at this dish. (I did not include bacon in the recipe below, but it can be a great addition.) - QueenSashy
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 3 pounds sauerkraut, rinsed
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 8 garlic cloves, cut in quarters
- 16 prunes, cut in half
- 8 thyme sprigs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 cups white wine
- 3 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large casserole or Dutch oven combine the oil with the onions over medium heat (alternatively you can heat the oil first, but starting the onions in cold oil will give them mellower taste). Simmer the onions for about 10 minutes, until soft.
- Add the sauerkraut, garlic, prunes, thyme and one cup of wine to the casserole, mix well and simmer for about 10 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the remaining wine, honey and bay leaves and simmer on the stove for another 25 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and sauerkraut acquires deep golden color.
- Add a cup of water to the casserole, season with salt and pepper and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 45min to an hour, until all the water has evaporated and the top layer is nicely caramelized. (If it becomes dry during baking, feel free to add a bit more water.)
- Let the sauerkraut sit in the refrigerator one to two days before serving. (This is absolutely critical, so be patient).
- Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.