For an uptown version of this dish, substitute 2 cups dry champagne for the beer and add 1 teaspoon minced ginger to the onion and apples as they cook.
Servings: 8 generous servings
- 12 ounces beer
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick) or olive oil
- 4 slices uncooked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces (optional)
- 1 small onion, cut into thin slices (3/4 cup)
- 3 medium (about 1 1/2 pounds) tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
- 32 ounces homemade or store-bought sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- Freshly ground black pepper
Pour the beer into a liquid measuring cup and allow it to go flat.
Meanwhile, melt the butter or heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. If using bacon, add it now and cook for a few minutes to render its fat, then add the onion and apples; mix to coat evenly. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until the onion and apples have softened slightly.
Add the sauerkraut; use tongs to incorporate with the onion and apples, then add the beer and caraway seeds. Mix well; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, then cover tightly and reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the liquid barely bubbles at the edges. Cook for 45 minutes; use tongs to move the sauerkraut around occasionally, until the apples are quite soft and the sauerkraut has mellowed. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve warm.
Adapted from John Shields, chef at Gertrude's in Baltimore.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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