Be Wisconsin’s guest, 159pp.
by the Junior League of Milwaukee
Hammersmith-Breithaupt Printing, 1964
Cooking on page 32
Once again I am rifling through cookbooks in a friend’s bookcase. This time I’m in Dallas Texas with dear friend and fellow food nut, Potsie. Potsie and I met online years ago through our common interest in food. Since then Poor John and I have stayed with him more than once, but this is the first time I’ve tackled his cookbooks.
Be Wisconsin’s guest is particularly special to Pots because it belonged to his long-time, late partner. I like it because I spent most of my childhood summers in Wisconsin so it’s a special place for me.
The book has recipes from leading Wisconsin restaurants, plus some from Junior League members. This is the fourth Junior League cookbook featured on this blog. The other recipes have been ripe olive quiche, mushroom nachos and crab spinach fondue.
Although this book was first published 50 years ago, the page-32 recipe is from Mader’s German restaurant, which is still going strong in Milwaukee. They have a version of sauerkraut on the menu. I wonder if it’s the same recipe?
8 strips bacon, diced
1 cup chopped onion
2 1-pound cans sauerkraut, drained
3 apples, pared and diced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
freshly ground pepper
1 cup stock or 1/2 cup stock and 1/2 cup champagne
Cook bacon until nicely browned. Add onion. Sauté until golden. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes or until apples are tender. Put into a casserole. Cover with slices of apple. Dot with butter and sprinkle with additional brown sugar. Brown under broiler.
How it played out
Sauerkraut may not be on everyone’s favourite food list, but Potsie and I love it. We made this mostly as written using Granny Smith apples and all chicken stock (who’d waste champagne on sauerkraut?).
The instructions were a little unclear. The ingredients said to dice the apples and the method said to add sliced apples on top. We diced all three apples and put them in the main mixture. We also skipped the extra brown sugar before broiling.
We could/should have broiled the kraut for a bit longer to get a much crisper top, but we were hungry and in a hurry. Served with ham slices and salad.
A comment about the bacon. USA bacon is much thinner and much fattier. The fat that is released into the pan gives the kraut a great hit of flavour. You might need to add extra bacon fat if making this dish in other countries. I will most likely add some in Australia—assuming I have some on hand.
A tasty and extremely easy way to prepare sauerkraut. You can bet I’ll be making this for Poor John when I get home from these three weeks of solo travel (for a family wedding). Poor John was allowed to stay home to watch his beloved cricket games and walk the dog.
If you have a bit of time, be sure to check out my travel blog.