Sauteed sauerkraut (štovēti kāposti) is my “must-have” Christmas dish. Ever since I can remember, my grandma would spend most of the December 24 in the kitchen boiling, frying and sauteing sauerkraut, potatoes and meat, while the kids would go to the markets to pick out the best looking Christmas tree. Christmas Eve would be celebrated with a feast, including compulsory mandarins and whipped cream, as well as presents that could only be received in exchange for a song or a rhyme.
The dish itself is very simple: it consists of sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), fat and sugar. Every family would have their own recipe and every family would think that their recipe is the one. There are many ways to make sauteed sauerkraut and many potential additions: bacon,carrots, apples, tomato paste, garlic, honey and barley. This recipe is how my grandma is making sauteed sauerkraut and I still make it her way every time I feel homesick.
- 1kg sauerkraut
- 2l water
- 100g lard
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Drain the sauerkraut in colander and place in a large saucepan.
- Add the water, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
- Drain the sauerkraut in a colander.
- Melt the lard in a large frying pan. Add the sugar and gently stir until the sugar has browned and melted. Add the sauerkraut to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until golden.
Sauerkraut is best served with pork or smoked, cooked sausages and boiled potatoes. Sauteed sauerkraut can also be used in piragi (pies) as alternative to bacon.