Potatoes and sauerkraut are one of those great combinations. And, it gets even better when you combine both of those ingredients into a recipe for a sauerkraut casserole—Delicious, filling and perfect for those cold autumn and winter evenings.
This sauerkraut potato casserole can be shared between at least six people, and it also is a layered sauerkraut casserole, which makes it taste extra good. In Dutch, we would call this dish a zuurkoolschotel, not a zuurkool stamppot. A stamppot with sauerkraut is easy. A stamppot recipe for sauerkraut is simply adding mashed potatoes and cooked sauerkraut in a pan and a ‘rookworst’ on top, so it’s very easy to make, and you don’t need to have a specific and detailed recipe for that.
This sauerkraut casserole is one of the many Dutch meat recipes that we have. You can also create a vegan or vegetarian version (I included tips on how to do that down at this Dutch sauerkraut recipe).
History Sauerkraut in The Netherlands
Sauerkraut, or zuurkool in Dutch, is a slice of white cabbage that is conserved with different lactic acid bacteria, which is why it tastes a bit sour. Sauerkraut is rich in vitamin C and many other vitamins, plus it’s very good for your gut health.
It is suspected that sauerkraut comes from the North of China and has spread to Europe by the big migrations of the Mongols and other nomads. This is also the reason why sauerkraut was eaten a lot in Eastern Europe. It is said that Eastern European Jews spread the dish further into Central and Western Europe and the U.S. In The Netherlands, sauerkraut is often eaten with bacon or sausage, but the Eastern European Jews ate it mostly with goose or duck.
In the 18th century, when Englishman James Cook sailed across the world, they often took sauerkraut to prevent scurvy. Only by the end of the 18th century, sauerkraut became a staple in Dutch cuisine. People used to have big Cologne jars inside their basement with homemade sauerkraut in them. The thinly sliced and salted cabbage was covered and fermenting to become sauerkraut, one of the few winter vegetables in The Netherlands (due to the harsh winters). In the 1960s, local greengrocer’s made the sauerkraut themselves and sold them inside their store.
Nowadays, the creation of sauerkraut happens in big factories. The sliced and salted cabbage heads into big holes that are closed airtight. The cabbage will slowly ferment. Depending on the cabbage’s temperature and structure, this fermentation process takes anywhere between three to eight weeks. Sometimes wine is added, which created wine sauerkraut. And, other times herbs are added, which is when they call it herb sauerkraut. But, the most popular version of sauerkraut is the regular one. In The Netherlands, around 24 million kg of sauerkraut is produced.
Most of the sauerkraut produced in The Netherlands is cut, fermented and packaged in the factory of Kramer in the town of Zuid- Scharwoude, which is near the town of Noord- Scharwoude where you can find the only sail-through auction in the world.
Dutch Potatoes And Sauerkraut Recipe
- 750 gr Frozen sauerkraut
- +- 2,5 kg Potatoes
- 500 gr Minced beef (the same kind of meat you use for the Dutch meatballs)
- +- 200 ml of milk
- +- 25 gr of butter
- 5 pieces of beschuit, or around 45 grams of bread crumbs
- 1 Egg
- Curry powder
- Paprika powder
- White pepper
Good for around 6 people – 30 minutes preparation – 1 hour to cook
1. Peel the potatoes, cut them into round four parts and place them in a big pot.
2. Wash the potatoes and add water to them, so it covers the potatoes. Then you will add a bit of salt and put the pot, with a lid half-closed, on medium-high heat.
3. Take the frozen sauerkraut out of the package (don’t rinse it!) and put it in a pot. As it is frozen and will release water, you don’t need to cover the sauerkraut entirely with water, but most of it should be underwater. Place the lid tilted on the pot and put it on medium-high heat. When the potatoes and the sauerkraut boil, make sure to turn the heat down, so it still boils but doesn’t pour over the pot.
4. Preheat your oven at 225 degrees Celsius (fan stand) and put an oven dish in the oven to heat it.
5. The potatoes generally need to boil around +- 30- 45 minutes (depending on your potatoes: stick a fork in them to see whether they are done or not) and the sauerkraut for +- 30 minutes. The potatoes need to be well done, as you’re making a mash of them.
6. In the meantime, you create your minced meat. Grab a bowl and add your minced meat, an egg, a tiny splash of milk and nutmeg, salt, white pepper and crumble three pieces of beschuit, or use 27 grams of the breadcrumbs. Mix all of this so it is evenly combined.
7. Then, you add the minced meat to a hot frying pan; there’s no need to use oil as the meat’s fat is good enough. Make the meat loose from each other by pressing it apart with a fork. When the meat is done, you set it aside in the pan.
8. When the potatoes are done, you should pour off the water and grab your masher. Mash the potatoes and heat the milk in a little pan. As soon as it starts to simmer a little, you should take it off the heat.
9. Add a bit of milk to your potatoes and mix it around. We never measure the milk precisely in our house, but just make sure that you like the smooth consistency and that it doesn’t taste very milky. Then you will add in the curry powder, paprika, nutmeg and white pepper, as much as you want: until you like the taste of your mash.
10. Pour off the water of the sauerkraut (the sauerkraut can still be moist) and then set it aside.
11. Now, take your hot oven dish out of the oven and start layering the sauerkraut and potato casserole—first a layer of potato mash, then a minced meat layer, then a sauerkraut one. Then you will add another potato, minced meat and sauerkraut layer. And lastly, another layer of mashed potato on top. The potato mash is sometimes difficult to spread on top of the sauerkraut, so I recommend using a fork to spread that out instead of a spoon.
12. Then, you will crumble the two remaining beschuitjes over the top layer of potato mash or spread the remaining bread crumbs. Add the cube of butter into the oven (without a lid) and put it on fan mode at around 200 degrees Celsius.
13. When the butter starts to melt a little, you take it out of the oven and spread it evenly over the top.
14. Then, you will put your oven dish back into the oven (again without a lid), but change the oven setting to grill. It is finished when the top layer gets a beautiful golden-brown crust.
You can make this zuurkoolschotel recipe completely vegan and/or turn it into one of the tastiest vegetarian sauerkraut casserole recipes. Just change the milk and butter to vegan versions, get a minced meat replacement and leave out the egg in the ‘meat’ part, and you’ve got one of the best vegan sauerkraut recipes.
Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes are a golden combination. Simply because both potatoes and sauerkraut are delicious. If you’re looking for another Dutch stamppot recipe, then you’ll love this hutspot recipe or this recipe for Dutch boerenkool.
If you’re looking for a bacon sauerkraut recipe, then you can replace the minced meat with bacon bits.
Handy tools to use for this recipe
I hope you enjoyed one of the best recipes that are using sauerkraut and potatoes. Potatoes and sauerkraut are a delicious combination, especially in a casserole or Dutch stamppot.
Don’t forget to share your photos of this sauerkraut and potatoes dish you’ve created with me on Instagram @visitingthedutchcountryside and Facebook @visitingthedutchcountryside that I can share your works of art.
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