I’ve got a little German in my blood… and in my belly

Sauerkraut has always been one of my favorite foods. I loved living next door to my grandmother while growing up who would can her own kraut from her garden and then we could have homemade kraut all year round. Of course I liked all of the other things she canned too including pickles, green beans, and corn.

Kraut seems to be a food that polarizes people – either you love it or you hate it. Maybe my love of it is in my veins. You know… my German blood may be dictating my tastes.

I’ve had two German meals from two different restaurants in the past two weeks (is this more evidence of my love of kraut??) and wanted to compare the two meals for any other German food lovers out there. I’ll also share a quick crockpot recipe.

Recently, I enjoyed a sausage, mashed potato, and kraut dinner from Stella’s Kentucky Deli. You can see a photo and read about the meal in my post about Supporting Your Local Restaurants, Farmers, and Charities.

Yesterday, I had the chance to enjoy Hofbrauhaus with some great friends. I remember growing up near there and thinking that it was so cool that there were only two locations in the world, Germany and Newport, KY. Now of course that has changed with the additions of Las Vegas and Pittsburgh locations.

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I had the exact same meal at Hofbrauhaus that I described from Stella’s: sausages, mashed potatoes, and kraut.

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In my personal opinion – the sausages tasted nearly identical, but I liked the way the sausages were prepared at Stella’s better. They are sliced and fried so that you get a nice crisp on all sides. The Kraut at Stella’s was better – it is cut thicker and it has more of the pickled taste to it. If you don’t like that, then you’ll like Hofbrauhaus kraut which is thinner and sweeter. The mashed potatoes at Stella’s were better too – they were a little thicker, left the skins on the potatoes, and had more seasoning. I loved the meal at Hofbrauhaus, but have to give the victory to Stella’s. This is amazing to me, as Stella’s is not known for it’s German food. I’ll have to have the same dish at Marrika’s and compare for the true German food victory.

Now for a quick and easy crockpot recipe. I know this was passed on to us from a friend, but I can’t remember who and I’m not sure where they got it, so I can’t give proper credit to the creator of this meal. Add kraut, bratts, one can of coke, and one can of beer to the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. I don’t even like the taste of beer, but this turns out to be delicious, and as mentioned, quick and easy. You can also add sliced peppers to this if you want a little more substance. My last piece of advice is to buy the smoked bratts instead of the regular bratts; the smoked ones will hold their shape better after cooking all day.

I wonder what food I like that I can attribute to the Irish in my blood?

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