This Sausage and Sauerkraut Skillet Bake, inspired by Oktoberfest, combines two favorites of polska kielbasa sausage and sauerkraut. It’s topped with emmentaler cheese and thin potato slices and baked until bubbly.
What comes to mind when you think Oktoberfest? For me it’s:
I went on a trip to Germany in high school, and got to see first hand the huge beer halls complete with their massive pretzels, gallon sized beer mugs, and lederhosen. I’ve got a couple of rock-solid memories from that trip. The first was with my mom (who generously volunteered to chaperone the trip). She allowed me to have a beer with her and the rest of the 15-year olds (who of course had permission from their parents as well). Now that I think back on this, it’s very odd. One: Because my mom doesn’t drink and, Two: she really doesn’t drink beer. But the European spirit must have taken over – I think she had a few sips.
Second – I got my tongue pierced… Anyone who knows me, knows that this is so out of what one would consider “the norm” for me. I was a quiet, shy, timid 10th grader, from a small town in rural New York. That’s why I did it. I wanted something that no one else in Jamestown, New York had. My mom was shocked. My teachers were shocked. Then everyone started getting tongue piercings. And I took mine out… Let’s just forget that ever happened.
So, in the spirit of fall, and with Oktoberfest upon us, I took it upon myself to create a recipe that evokes those memories of lederhosen and massive beers. I grabbed some kielbasa, sauerkraut, emmentaler cheese and potatoes – I was aiming for a bit of a shepherd’s pie mish mash. It worked – It worked really well.
You do, however, have to like sauerkraut to be a fan of this recipe. I rinsed the kraut in water, and squeezed it dry, before adding it to the mixture. This helps to cut back a bit on the potent saltiness. It also mellows the flavor a bit. To add some additional flavors to the dish, I sautéed a red pepper along with a shallot and some garlic, dressed it up with some Dijon mustard and wine (just because), stirred in those lovely browned sausage bits, and topped the whole thing off with a layer of sour cream, cheese and thin potato slices.
Rick loved this dish. We even ate all of the leftovers on night two, a rarity in our house… PS – It reheats very well. I think I liked the dish even better on night two.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate Oktoberfest?
Sauerkraut and Sausage Recipe
Sausage and Sauerkraut Oktoberfest Skillet Bake
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red pepper seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons spicy Dijon mustard
- Pinch of cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup dry white wine or vermouth
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 14 oz kielbasa sausage sliced in 1/4-inch thick rounds
- 3 cups sauerkraut rinsed and squeezed dry
- 5 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 cup shredded Emmentaler cheese
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and red pepper and cook until softened.
- Add the sliced sausage and sautee until beginning to brown and curling at the edges.
- Add the sauerkraut, mustard, fennel seeds, cayenne, and black pepper, and stir until heated through, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and parsley and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Spread the sour cream over the skillet mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
- Toss the potato slices with 1 teaspoon oil, the melted butter and salt. Arrange the seasoned potatoes in a tight formation over the sauerkraut mixture and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the potato slices are browning at the edges and the mixture is bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- To reheat, bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.
Wine Pairings for Sauerkraut and Sausage:
- Pinot Noir