Make Ahead

Beer Braised Meatballs and Easy Sauerkraut Served with Mustard Sauce

October  4, 2022
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I love meatballs and I love sauerkraut; I love cooking with wine and beer, but most of all I love cooking traditional dishes in a not so traditional way.
Germans make this dish usually with sausage or Schnitzel and braised Red cabbage. My recipe is made with meatballs, Green cabbage, which I braised with onion, carrots, mushrooms, beer and apple cider vinegar, which gives it the sauerkraut taste. Each part of the dish is cooked with a “Hoegaarden” Belgian lager brewed with wheat and malted barley and has a subtle hint of coriander and orange peel.
I also like to serve this dish as sandwiches in rolls such as Panini Rustic or Pretzel Rolls. —Kukla

What You'll Need
  • For the Meatballs (makes 16 about 1 1/2- ounces meatballs)
  • • 2 slices white stale bread, crust removed
  • • 3/4 cup good quality lager beer, divided
  • • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • • 1 pound beef chuck, cut in bite-size cubes
  • • 1 pound veal or pork, cut in bite-size cubes
  • • 2 large egg yolks
  • • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • • 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander + 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, toasted and grinded together
  • For the Mustard Sauce and Easy Sauerkraut
  • Mustard Sauce:
  • • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • • 2 tablespoons Spicy Brown or Dijon mustard
  • • 1 tablespoon honey or to your taste
  • • 2 tablespoons lager beer
  • • Pinch salt
  • For the Easy Sauerkraut:
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • • 1/2 of onion, thinly sliced
  • • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds, toasted
  • • 1 packed tablespoon brown sugar
  • • About 3/4 to 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms of your choice (optional)
  • • 1 small head (about 10 oz) green cabbage, shredded
  • • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • • 1/2 cup beer
  • • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  1. For the Meatballs (makes 16 about 1 1/2- ounces meatballs)
  2. Tear the bread into pieces; place in a small mixing bowl and cover with 1/4 cup beer. Set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and garlic; then add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until the onions and garlic are just soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  5. Run the meat cubes, bread and beer mixture, sautéed onion and garlic through a meat grinder to a large bowl. Add egg yolks lightly beaten with 1/4 cup of beer, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, coriander-mustard mixture. Lightly mix until well combined. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds.
  6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs (in two batches) and sauté until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  7. When all the meatballs are sautéed, nestle them in one layer in the same sauté pan, pour 1/4 cup of beer into the pan, cover with a lid and braise until they absorbed almost all of the liquid, about 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon and place in the warmed oven.
  1. For the Mustard Sauce and Easy Sauerkraut
  2. To make the Mustard Sauce: Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl , cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. To make the Easy Sauerkraut: Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat; add onion, carrots and mushrooms (if using); sauté until softened and slightly browned. Add salt and brown sugar; drop in the cabbage and sauté for a few minutes until the greens have slightly wilted. Add the beer and cider vinegar to the pan and cook until the liquid has reduced completely and cabbage is tender but still has a slight crunch.
  4. To serve: Place the Sauerkraut in the bottom of serving plates; then arrange 2-3 meatballs on top; drizzle with Mustard sauce and serve.
  5. If you like to make sandwiches, slice open each roll lengthwise, lightly butter and toast them. Stuff each with the meatballs; top with some sauerkraut, drizzle with the mustard sauce and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

8 Reviews

aargersi September 10, 2014
I somehow missed this before today but now it is on my list of First Things To Make When Temps Drop Below 90 (so - October-ish in Texas :-)
Kukla September 10, 2014
Thank you Abbie! I know what you mean; it’s almost 90 every day in LA too and starting this coming Sunday the forecast shows that is going to be 93 and even higher.
Hope you like this recipe whenever you make it.
I did your recipe for the Mititei and it was great smoked!! I have a friend from Cape Town S.A. that is Romanian and want to try his recipe too. He was in the states and stopped in to visit and have dinner with us. Don
Kukla May 31, 2014
That’s very interesting Don! If you do try your Romanian friend’s from South Africa Mititei recipe, I would love to know the differences and similarities in our recipes. Thanks, Anna!
I made your dish yesterday for our supper and it was delicious! It makes a pretty plate too. I used a mild mustard in the sauce, my wife loved it but I could have stood spicier. I posted your recipe on my cooking blog
and a BBQ forum. Thanks again for a great recipe that is a keeper for us. I want to try a sandwich from the leftovers. Don
Kukla May 30, 2014
Thanks a lot Don! I am very glad you and your wife liked my meatballs and I am sure that smoking them added even more deliciousness. I consider entering this recipe in this week’s contest on food52 “Your Best Picnic Recipe.”
I read your blog Don and liked it very much; I also was thinking that you might like to try another very tasty recipe of mine, which will also benefit when first smoked lightly and then grilled. Anna
Here is the link:
Kukla, this looks delicious! I plan to make it with a little twist, stay with your meatballs and sauce but use some of my homemade kraut. I will do the meatballs on my wood pellet smoker. I post to a BBQ forum, is it ok to repost your recipe or I can just post a link if you prefer? Smokin Don
Kukla May 29, 2014
Hey Smokin Don! Thanks for your lovely comment! You have my permission to do whatever is more convenient for you with the recipe, but please let me know how it came out. Thanks again and happy “smocooking”!