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!
Debra She Who Seeks says
Sauerkraut is being touted these days as a new health food! I’ve never been a fan but perhaps with age, my taste buds would like it now, I don’t know. I should start small though — maybe just try a reuben sandwich.
Looking forward to your perogy post!
Suzie the Foodie says
It’s true, it’s the new kimchi! LOL. Oh Reuben sandwiches rock, you would love it Debra and that is a smart first step. 🙂