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Meatball Stew with Sauerkraut

by Adina 10/01/2017 5 comments

stew with meatballs and sauerkraut in a pot

 

A hearty stew with meatballs and sauerkraut, a German sauerkraut recipe for the cold autumn and winter days.

 

MEATBALL STEW WITH SAUERKRAUT

 

sauerkraut meatballs romani 683x1024 Meatball Stew with Sauerkraut

 

This stew with meatballs and sauerkraut is actually a Romanian recipe with a German touch. And the German touch doesn’t come from my living in Germany right now, but from the Transylvanian Saxons who have been living in Romania for centuries.

The first colonists of German origin started arriving in Transylvania about 850 years ago. Many of them were searching for a better life than the one they had in their homeland and were hoping for more freedom and rights in the new territories.

In a relatively short period of time they grounded a number of communities, which developed to towns over the years, towns that still exist today, for instance Sibiu – Hermannstadt (my hometown), Sighisoara – Schessburg, Brasov – Kronstadt, Cluj-Napoca – Klausenburg and so on.

All of these are absolutely wonderful medieval towns and if you ever visit Romania make sure to visit some of them. My special recommendation is, of course, my hometown Sibiu, one of the most beautiful towns you can imagine, bursting with life and culture.

Sibiu was also the home of the largest number of German ethnics – Saxons in Romania. Unfortunately most of them decided to leave Romania for Germany after the fall of communism, but their cultural influence on the town and life style will never be really gone.

 

sauerkraut meatballs 683x1024 Meatball Stew with Sauerkraut

 

GERMAN SAUERKRAUT

This stew with meatballs and sauerkraut is a dish of Saxon origin. What sets it apart from a traditional Romanian recipe is the use of the wine sauerkraut, which is different from the typical Romanian sauerkraut.

Romanian-style sauerkraut is not so easy to come by here in Germany, but good quality wine sauerkraut is cheap and readily available.

I used to dislike German-style sauerkraut during the first years I spent in Germany. The main reason for this was that I liked Romanian-style sauerkraut way too much and I was so disappointed in discovering that the taste of the German sauerkraut didn’t have much in common with the taste I was used to.

Romanian sauerkraut is more sour, robuster, has a stronger taste and comes in rougher pieces.

At the beginning, I found German sauerkraut to be too delicate, too soft, tasting of wine and sweeter that I was expecting it to be.

However, over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate exactly these qualities of the German sauerkraut, its delicacy, its sweet and sour taste, which makes it perfect not only as a side dish for many meat main courses but also for salads.

I really have to give you the recipe for one of my favorite salads made with wine sauerkraut and mandarins one day. Sooo good!

I usually buy fresh sauerkraut from at the butcher’s, it tastes amazing and 1 kg costs only about 1 Euro. However, canned is good as well, to make this stew with meatballs and sauerkraut I used 1 large can of Mildessa sauerkraut%name Meatball Stew with Sauerkrautt, which is incredibly overpriced on Amazon. To make the sauerkraut stew, try another brand of German sauerkraut.

 

sauerkraut meatballs rice Meatball Stew with Sauerkraut

 

HOW TO MAKE SAUERKRAUT MEATBALL STEW?

Meatballs or meat dumplings:

  • I used mixed ground beef to make the meatballs, half pork and half beef.
  • Soak the white bread for a couple of minutes in cold water.
  • Chop the onions very finely and grate the garlic. Mix both with the ground meat.
  • Squeeze the soaked bread and add it to the mixture.
  • Add parsley, sweet paprika powder, lightly beaten egg, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Wet your hands and make small balls, about the size of a walnut. Set aside.

Sauerkraut meatball stew:

  • Place the sauerkraut in a larger pot.
  • Add tomato paste, bay leaves and sugar.
  • Add enough water to almost cover the sauerkraut. Bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down and add the meatballs.
  • Cover the pot tightly and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through, stirring from time to time and taking care not to break the meatballs.
  • Add a little more water if you feel that too much of it has evaporated. I added about ½ cup more during the cooking time but not all at once.
  • At the end of the cooking time, at least half of the water should have evaporated.
  • Add the crème fraiche/smetana/sour cream. Stir carefully.
  • Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.

 

sauerkraut meatball Meatball Stew with Sauerkraut

 

HOW TO SERVE THE MEATBALL STEW WITH SAUERKRAUT?

The sauerkraut and meatballs stew can be served immediately or it can be made in advance and then be reheated.

This is the kind of dish that tastes even better when reheated the next day, the rest will allow the flavors to develop even more.

You can serve the sauerkraut stew with white bread (like most Romanian people do) or salt potatoes (like most Saxons do).

You can also serve some more crème fraiche, smetana or sour cream on the side.

 

MORE HEARTY STEWS?

Chicken Meatballs in Sauce

Romanian Sausage Stew

French Beef Stew

Butternut Squash and Sausage Stew

Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew

 

PIN IT FOR LATER!

 

sauerkraut meatball stew 683x1024 Meatball Stew with Sauerkraut

 

sauerkraut meatball 200x200 Meatball Stew with Sauerkraut

Stew with Meatballs and Sauerkraut

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A hearty stew with meatballs and sauerkraut, a German sauerkraut recipe for the cold autumn and winter days.

Ingredients

  • Meatballs:
  • 450 g/ 1 lb mixed ground meat, half pork - half beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 large slice white bread, crust removed, about 60 g/ 2.1 oz
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika powder
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper
  • Stew:
  • 700 g/ 1.6 lbs fresh sauerkraut or 1 large can wine sauerkraut
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 200 g crème fraiche/smetana/sour cream
  • fine sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak the white bread for a couple of minutes in cold water.
  2. Chop the onions very finely and grate the garlic.
  3. Mix the ground meat with the chopped onions and the garlic.
  4. Squeeze the soaked bread and add it to the mixture. Add the parsley, sweet paprika powder, the lightly beaten egg, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Make small meatballs, about the size of a walnut and set aside.
  6. Place the sauerkraut in a larger pot together with the tomato paste, bay leaves and sugar.
  7. Add enough water to almost cover the sauerkraut. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and add the meatballs.
  8. Cover the pot tightly and simmer everything for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through, stirring from time to time and taking care not to break the meatballs.
  9. Add a little more water if you feel that too much of it has evaporated. I added about ½ cup more during the cooking time but not all at once.
  10. At the end of the cooking time, at least half of the water should have cooked away.
  11. Add the crème fraiche, smetana or sour cream. Stir carefully. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Serve immediately or reheat the stew.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of the dish
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 434 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 142mg Sodium: 1306mg Carbohydrates: 17g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 7g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 24g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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5 comments

[email protected]'s Recipes 10/01/2017 - 09:42

Hearty, comforting and very tasty!

Reply
Chris Scheuer 10/01/2017 - 12:22

Yummy! I think I might come live at your house. No one in my family likes sauerkraut except me. I quite crazy about it but never had it with meatballs. Sounds delish!

Reply
Jess Wright @ The Cookbook Obsession 11/01/2017 - 17:16

My Granddaddy has a fondness for German food. I think I will make this for him <3 Especially this sauerkraut – YUM 🙂

Reply
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary 11/01/2017 - 18:52

I love sauerkraut and dumplings, but I’ve never had them together before like this. Looks AMAZING! Those meat dumplings are totally calling my name! Comfort food heaven! Cheers!

Reply
Sissi 17/01/2017 - 16:26

How well I understand you… Sauerkraut is so different in every country, isn’t it? I miss so much Polish sauerkraut which is also much stronger and more sour than what I find in Switzerland. The German sauerkraut I buy in the German organic shop (I always bring a dozen jars in our car) is a bit closer to the Polish one (the Swiss one is hardly sour), though still more delicate… maybe in Germany the taste of sauerkraut depends on the region? There is no mention of wine on my German sauerkraut.
This dish looks fantastic and makes me year for well-seasoned cooked sauerkraut meal!

Reply

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