All this talk of the sweet goodness you can make apples this season, and as someone rightly pointed out to me, there are many savory things you can make with apples as well. My dear Minnesota-raised father, who cannot resist any recipe with both sauerkraut and bacon, couldn’t wait to try this apple and bacon sauerkraut from the Niman Ranch Cookbook. The trick is to use good quality sauerkraut; the best stuff, according to dad, is refrigerated and in a jar. He drains it, but doesn’t rinse it, lest the flavor rinses away. A good quality apple-wood smoked bacon helps too. If you love sauerkraut as much as we do (and there are fewer and fewer of us out there these days, unfortunately), you’ll love this recipe.
- 1/4 pound sliced apple-wood smoked bacon
- 2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and grated
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
- 3 cups apple cider or apple juice
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 pounds of refrigerated (in a jar, not can), prepared sauerkraut, drained (about 1 24-fluid-ounce jar, drained)
1 Put bacon in a large, high-sided oven-proof sauté pan with a lid and place over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until most of the fat has been rendered out, turning as needed. Drain excess fat from pan (leave in about a tablespoon). Remove bacon from the pan and let cool on a plate lined with a paper towel. Roughly chop the bacon and set aside.
2 Add the apples, onion, garlic, and caraway and decrease the heat to low. Cover partially and cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is tender.
3 Remove the lid, stir in the apple cider and vinegar, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to a thick, syrupy consistency.
4 Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the sauerkraut and bacon, cover, and cook 10 minutes, or until sauerkraut is heated through and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.