This is a little story about how I found this incredible German Sauerkraut casserole recipe. In early October last year, my husband and I had one of our little adventures. They're usually not much more than a day trip and an overnight, but still, a break from the everyday.
A generous friend offered us the use of her beautiful home for a night. It sits on a private cove on a tucked-away lake, and it's incredible. She plans to turn it into a vacation rental and wanted us to share our thoughts.
The weather was uncharacteristically yucky for that time of year, as it turned out. Cold and wet. So, instead of a walk, we went for a drive looking for something fun to eat and landed in nearby Eustis, Nebraska.
It's "The Sausage Capital" of our dear state. Eustis is very German and famous for the sausage made there. Their annual community celebration is called "Wurst Tag," which literally means Sausage Day!
We drove through the tiny, tidy downtown, looking for a cafe. Then we noticed a sign that read, "German Dinner served today 11:00-1:00." We were in adventure mode and eager to try something different.
So we thought, why not? I mean, my husband is 100% German, right? And German food is hearty, flavorful, and unique. We bought a ticket and got in line.
The German dinner in Eustis was a buffet. I always like to try a new dish, so I tasted a little dab of this interesting-looking casserole. Immediately, I grabbed a larger serving. The flavor is indescribably sweet, sour, salty, and savory all at the same time!
We all know the marriage of bacon and brown sugar is made in heaven, right? Well, I gotta tell you, the angels sang Handel's Hallelujah Chorus after my first bite of that amazing German sauerkraut casserole, and I had to track down the person who brought it!
It didn't take long to sniff out the person who provided the casserole. She is proud of her recipe! The tall, lanky lady obligingly wrote it down on a slip of scrap paper and told me it would taste best if I used her homemade sauerkraut!
What an entrepreneur! She told us she makes and sells 500 pounds of fermented cabbage annually! I may look her up and buy some if we're lucky enough to go to Wurst Tag in June!
This recipe has been shared more times than any recipe I have ever posted. Here are some of the comments:
"Man, I was nervous making this looking at those ingredients, thinking it was going to be way too sweet ….....This dish is absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!! Everything comes together so well, so delicious!!!!!!! Do not be nervous and just go for it so worth it !!!"
"I made this last night and I shared it with my daughter-in-law and I wish I had kept it all to myself Lol. It was that good and now I find myself craving it...... I will say I worried that no one would like it because the ingredients just didn't seem to go together. Happily I was so wrong."
It's easy to make and makes and incredibly good side dish with almost anything. You can add bulk sausage, browned and crumbled, or cut up smoked sausage or Kielbasa, and it will become a favorite main dish!
Do you know how some dresses don't look good on the hanger but are amazingly flattering when you try them on?
This is that kind of dish. You've got to trust me on this one. I might not have tried this casserole if I just ran across the recipe somewhere. Tomatoes and brown sugar?? Doesn't taste good on the hanger, if you know what I mean! But boy oh boy, is it ever yummy!!
This German sauerkraut casserole recipe gets off to a good start with bacon, diced and fried, and adding onion and sauteeing it in the drippings until it is tender and transparent. So far so good, right?
Simply add a quart package of fresh refrigerated sauerkraut, undrained, a can of petite diced tomatoes, drained, and both brown and white sugar. Sound crazy, I know! A 32-ounce package is a quart.
Put it in a shallow casserole dish and bake it in a 350-degree oven for about an hour. Some of the liquid will evaporate during the baking, and that intensifies all the flavors.
Add bulk sausage browned and crumbled, or add sliced smoked sausage or kielbasa if desired before baking.
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