This casserole is a welcome addition to your repertoire of winter’s warming dishes. Potatoes and sauerkraut are two staples of the German kitchen in the winter. Traditionally, the potatoes were stored in a cellar and the remaining cabbage from the harvest would be turned into sauerkraut.
It’s no surprise, then, that these two ingredients pair very well together. Sauerkraut lends a pleasant tanginess to this creamy potato gratin. It’s a great side dish paired with heavy dishes such as venison stew or beef roast.
*Note: If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can substitute ½ teaspoon dried thyme.
- One 14- to 16-ounce bag/can sauerkraut, drained
- 5 Russet potatoes, peeled
- 3 -4 sprigs fresh thyme*
- 2 1/2 heavy cream
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 1/2 kosher salt
- 1/2 nutmeg, grated
- 2 butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Start by opening the can or bag of sauerkraut and letting it drain. Do not rinse; just allow the excess juice to drain.
Slice the potatoes on a mandoline as thinly as possible. (If you don’t have one, just slice them as thinly as you can.) Strip off the leaves from the thyme sprigs and discard the woody stems. Heat the cream, garlic, salt, thyme, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat. (Be careful because it will boil over. Keep an eye on it.) Once it is hot, but not boiling, remove from heat.
Take a medium-sized casserole and grease the pan with the softened butter. Add 1 layer of the sliced potatoes. Next, add a layer of sauerkraut using about ½ of the sauerkraut. Top with some more sliced potatoes, then another layer of sauerkraut. Top with the remaining potatoes and pour the cream mixture over this.
Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. When the potatoes are tender, remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite roast or stew.