Monday, March 30, 2015

Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut Casserole

Though it is March the weather is still quite chilly and I thought this adapted from Smoked Sausage and Sauerkraut Casserole was the perfect dish to fill me up. I liked that it was essentially a one pot meal and all the flavors really worked great together.

Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut Casserole


2 pounds potatoes
2/3 cup warm milk
1 or 2 tbsp butter
pinch of pepper and nutmeg
1 pound sauerkraut (drained well)
1 smoked sausage (mine was Unox extra lean, 275gr)
1 large red bell pepper or 2 smaller ones
1 large onion
5 tbsp sour cream (heaping!)
1/2 tbsp sweet paprika powder (smoked works great!)
1/2 tbsp chill powder (less if you don’t like spiciness)
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1 1/2 cup melting cheese(used cheddar)
1 cup beef broth
salt and pepper

Our Unox smoked sausages only have to be heated and are a staple in many Dutch homes, even though I prefer the ones I buy at the butcher. You can also use a different sausage, just make sure it’s cooked properly.
Cut the sausage in bit-sized pieces. Peel, wash and bring the potatoes to a boil in plenty salted water. I don’t like seasoning my mashed potatoes afterwards—it makes them taste slightly off to me—so I always make sure I properly season the water. Heat a tbsp butter and saut√© the onion and pepper for a couple of minutes, until translucent. Add the cubed sausage. In with the spices and thyme; I used smoked paprika. The chili powder gives a lovely kick, just enough. Cook everything for an extra minute. In with the still pristine (and well-drained!) sauerkraut.  Stir it in well. Pour in the beef broth and, depending on the saltness level of your broth, season with a pinch of pepper and salt to taste. Put the lid on and smother the sauerkraut for 10 to 15 minutes. That’s my new favorite word: smother. No idea why. Drain your potatoes and steam-dry them for a minute or two. Mash the potatoes. Add the butter, nutmeg (typical Dutch thing, feel free to omit), pepper and warm milk. Stir until you end up with fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes. Sauerkraut should be done as well. Transfer the sauerkraut and sausage to a 9 x 13″ casserole. Cooking liquid and all. Spread the sour cream on top. If you want to, you could also stir it into the mashed potatoes, I prefer a thin separate layer.  Grate 1 1/2 cup melting cheese. Sprinkle 2/3 on top of the sour cream. Top with the mashed potatoes. Pop the casserole into the oven and bake it at 200C° (400F°) for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly warm and the top is golden brown.

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