Last Wednesday I featured “Orange Bread,” but I’m not really on an “orange” kick! It just happened that I wanted to share this family recipe with you. I first made it back in June of 1964. How do I know? I always date my cookbook recipes the first time I try it and give the family rating. This one rated very high with everyone!
How do recipes become our own? After so many years, we tend to add, subtract, or substitute from the original. Who knows at what point they become ours and not something from a cookbook?
I adapted this one from an old cookbook I had featuring recipes from Luchow’s German restaurant in New York, first published in 1952. You can see the splattered pages. The real name of the recipe is something more sophisticated, but my kids named it “orange sauerkraut” because of the color it turns out to be.
Even people who don’t think they like sauerkraut seem to love this recipe, probably because the sour cream softens the sharp tang of the kraut. Try it yourself and see what you think!
2 pounds of lean beef cut into small 1-inch squares
4 tablespoons of butter (I substitute olive oil)
2 cups sliced onions
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste, although sauerkraut usually has enough salt
1 15-oz. can tomatoes
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons chopped caraway seeds
2 cups sauerkraut
Sauté beef in butter or olive oil until lightly browned.
Add onions and cook 5 minutes.
Add garlic, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, plus enough water to barely cover the mixture.
Cook slowly until meat is almost done and the sauce reduced, usually about 30-45 minutes. Stir frequently.
When sauce is cooked down, add sour cream, paprika, and caraway seeds. Simmer ½ hour longer.
Mix in sauerkraut and cook until everything is heated to the right temperature.
Makes a wonderful family meal served with steamed red potatoes, or traditional German style with mashed potatoes.