I have been craving old school comfort food. A big foodie regret in my life was not sharing my mom’s love of sauerkraut with her. The name of it scared me as a kid (so stupid) and then the rebel in my dug my heels in and I missed out on a lot of fantastic food because of it. I was a total bonehead.
I did make my mom a pork roast once when she was visiting and she taught me her secret to making her and Grandma’s sauerkraut. With some help from Auntie Laima I came up with this accidental Instant Pot version that tasted like home.
I picked up a 1 litre bottle of Strub‘s Wine Sauerkraut.
Mom said the trick to her sauerkraut was rinsing it! I was shocked. I mentioned it to Auntie Laima and she warned not rinsing it too much so I strained it, added a sprinkle of water and then pushed a lot of the liquid out.
Another secret was adding caraway seeds! I had brought some all the way from Granville Island and knew this was the perfect time to use them.
I added 1 tbsp but that was a lot so you may prefer less. You can add 1 cup of white wine at this point but I added water.
I heated up the Instant Pot on the sauté setting and once it was warm added the sauerkraut, water and caraway seeds while I got to work on the other components. Stir every now and then.
I followed Auntie Laima suggestions and used half a package of bacon cut into lardon and fried in a little oil until becoming a few minutes away from being crispy. Then I removed from the pan.
You can also fry up some chopped onion with the bacon but believe it or not, I forgot to buy an onion!
I could not find kielbasa so I picked up this 500 gram package of farmer sausages.
In the same large pan I fried the bacon in, I browned the sliced sausage pieces while the sauerkraut cooked in the Instant Pot.
Using a slotted spoon I removed the sausage slices into the Instant Pot, along with the bacon.
If I had broth I would have added 1 cup at this time but again I kept it simple and cheap with 1 cup of water.
Bringing It Altogether
Normally people will roast everything at this point for 2 hours in a low oven. It was crazy-hot and I was like, screw that and decided to make this a pressure cooker version instead. I am so glad I did. I put it on Manual on medium for just 15 minutes.
Released the pressure valve and…
It was delicious! I know next time with onion, wine and broth it will be even better but for my first attempt and spontaneously making it in the Instant Pot I did extremely well and it was absolutely flavourful and heart warming. Using the Instant Pot saved heating the house up for hours as well as saving me a ton of time.
Of course I also served pierogies with them for an old world dinner but that is the second half of the foodie story. Coming next!