Sauerkraut is a typical Dutch-German dish. Bockwurst as well. And mustard and bacon/speck is something we Northern Europeans are also not fussy about. From all the mash and ‘stumps’ (a mixture between potatoes and often vegetables) we make in winter (think: kale-potato, or potato-carrot-onion) Sauerkraut is my favourite. Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It has a very long shelf life, so there are always a few pots in my pantry! Last week it was freezing in Amsterdam so the Mr. and me decided to make Sauerkraut mash, with speck, Bockwurst and mustard…. It’s is so simple to make but so delicious!
4 juniper berries, cracked (not crushed, otherwise you won’t find again them later on)
2 bay leaves
800 gram potatoes
500 gram Sauerkraut
300 ml white wine
2 German Bockwursten (smoked sausages)
300 gram speck (bacon), stripes
125 gram farm butter, unsalted
Peel the potatoes, wash and cut roughly. Place the potatoes on the stove with water and some salt, cook and wait until ready. Takes about 15-20 minutes (depends on how big your pieces are)
Squeeze out the access liquid from the Sauerkraut, tear a bit apart with a fork and cook in a separate pot (not together with the potatoes) in the white wine and a pinch of salt. Add a little bit of water until all the Sauerkraut is just covered. Also add 1 onion, pierced with cloves. And add the juniper berries and the bay leaves to the Sauerkraut. Cook for about 15 minutes. Cover the Sauerkraut with the packaging of the butter, no joke! It helps the Sauerkraut to stay in the wine and the fatty inside of the butter-packaging gives instant flavour.
Chop the other onion finely and sauté in a bit of butter until soft. Turn off the heat. Fry in another pan the speck (bacon) until crispy and take out access fat with some kitchen paper. Set aside.
In another pan you place the Bockwurst in water and cook it. When the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and place the lid on the pan and leave for about 15 minutes. That is enough to cook the sausage.
Drain the potatoes and make a puree of it, with a nice amount of the butter. Drain the sauerkraut too and take out the onion, cloves, juniper berries and bay leaves. Steam the sauerkraut a few second on high fire, to let the liquid disappear. Season with pepper, salt. Add to the potatoes and stir in to one nice mash, together with the sautéed onions and speck.
Serve with mustard and the bockwurst. Optional: serve some sambals or fresh chilis on the side, if you like a bit of a spicy kick.