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This is a great recipe for the winter - lots of flavor! It may sound and look like a rich, heavy meal, but it is surprisingly light, and is actually based on an old "Weight Watchers" recipe! No need to serve anything on the side - it is a multi-layer "one pan" meal. On several occasions, I have eaten half the dish all by myself (OK, I was stuffed for two days).

  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Baking time: 50-60 minutes
  • Makes 6 servings.
  • Freezes well.

INGREDIENTS

  • 600 grams (1.25 lb) sauerkraut
  • weight is "drained"
  • save yourself some time, and buy cooked kraut - "plain/natural" or "white wine" (in a jar, a pouch, or bulk); if it has pieces of bacon in it, remove them!
  • 500 grams (1+ lb) yellow onions, peeled, woody part of the cores removed, finely diced
  • Dicing takes 2 seconds in a food processor
  • 600 grams (1.25 lb) ground beef
  • Use lean beef: 5% fat - don't waste your money on water and fat of higher % ground beef
  •  "Instant" mashed potatoes - a standard 125 grams (4.5 oz) pouch is more than enough
  • 600 grams (1.25 lb) of apples
  • Weight is before peeling and coring
  • 250 grams (2 cups, lightly packed) raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly ground preferred)
  • 1 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons of "hot" curry powder (if you're a wimp, use "regular")
  • This may seem like a lot, but it will get absorbed just fine
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter (2 tablespoons for cooking the onions, 1-2 to put on top of the mashed potatoes)
  • No salt required - sauerkraut normally has enough salt for the entire dish, all by itself.

Recipe

Ground beef, chopped onions, raisins


EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES

  • Large frying pan
  • Oven dish
  • Wooden spatula
  • Optional: food processor (for chopping the onions)
  • Medium size sauce pan
  • Large bowl
  • Medium size bowl
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • Large oven-proof dish (I use an oval dish of about 30x20x5 cm, 12x8x2 inch)
  • Use a clear glass dish, so you can see when the juices are boiling at least half way up the side of the dish

PREPARATION / DIRECTIONS

  • Cook the sauerkraut in water (with 1 tablespoon of the curry powder) until almost done
  • Use enough water to almost cover the kraut; stir in the tablespoon of curry powder
  • If you bought cooked kraut, just bring the water to a boil and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Cook the ground beef while loosening with a fork or wooden spatula
  • Do not add butter or oil to the pan - even lean ground beef has more than enough fat of its own! Pour off excess water.
  • When the beef is all loosened up and cooked, stir in 2 tablespoons of the curry powder, then take off the heat and set aside
  • Finely chop the onions, with a knife or a kitchen machine
  • Slowly cook the chopped onions in butter until translucent - do not fry until brown! When the onion is soft and done (15-20 minutes), mix in the last tablespoon of curry powder and stir
  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F)
  • In a large bowl, mix the cooked beef and onions
  • Peel, core, and quarter the apples, then coarsely grate them in the food processor (or use a vegetable grater)
  • Don't put all the apple chunks in the food processor all at once: part of the apple will get very finely chopped or even pureed, whereas some larger chunks will not get cut up at all.
  • In a medium size bowl, mix the apples and the raisins

Recipe

Curried ground beef & onions, apples & raisins


  • Drain the sauerkraut in a fine-mesh sieve
  • You will have to squeeze the kraut (or push down on it with a cup) to get most of the water out
  • Build alternating layers until the oven dish almost filled:
  • One layer of the ground beef & onion mix (half of the mix)
  • Cover with a layer of apple & raisins mix (half of the mix)
  • Cover with a layer of sauerkraut (half of the kraut); you will have to pull the kraut apart to be able to drape all over the previous layer
  • Make the mashed potatoes per the instructions on the package (typically with boiling water + milk), and mix-in the garlic and nutmeg
  • Cover the oven dish with mashed potatoes, and smoothen the top with a large knife
  • Put some teaspoon-size pieces of butter spread out over the top, and push them into the mashed potatoes a little bit
  • Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes
  • The juices that collect at the bottom of the dish should be boiling for at least 10 minutes
  • The top of the mashed potatoes will turn golden brown


Recipe

Layer of ground beef & onions (left), and layer of apples & raisins


Recipe

Layer of sauerkraut (left) and final layer - mashed potatoes


Recipe

The dish - ready to go into the oven


SERVING & GARNISH SUGGESTIONS

  • Serve with chilled dry white wine or beer

NOTES

  • The complete dish can be prepared ahead of time. However, when the uncooked dish is cold, it will take much longer to cook! Straight out of the refrigerator (e.g., leftovers) : at least 1 hour at 175 °C (350 °F)

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©1984-2016 F. Dörenberg, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be used without permission from the author.