A Faith Restored

I have mentioned it before, but I am going to mention it again: I have a deep aversion to crock pots. With the exception of one recipe, everything I have made in a crock pot turns out tasting… well… like the bottom of a Campbell’s soup can. (That’s not good, by the way.) The one recipe that I made that turned out well came courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated and required so much prep work that it hardly seemed worth it.

That’s why I’d like to thank the good folks at Real Simple for helping me get past my hatred for crock pottery. I received a subscription to the magazine for Christmas, and my very first issue contained none other than a section devoted to crock pot recipes.

Ever the adventurer, I pointed out a few to Paul and made him choose. Of course, he looked at the pictures, immediately discerned which one had the most meat per serving, and calmly pointed to the recipe saying, “Did you even have to ask?” I now bring you Paul’s choice:

Sausages with Sauerkraut and Potatoes

  • 1½ lbs red new potatoes (about 18), halved if large
  • 2 C sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ C low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ C dry white wine
  • 1 t caraway seeds
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1½ lb bratwurst links
  • ¼ C chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Toasted dark bread (such as pumpernickel), butter, and whole-grain mustard

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together the potatoes, sauerkraut, onion, broth, wine, caraway seeds, ½ t salt, and ¼ t pepper. Nestle the bratwurst in the vegetables.

Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Sprinkle the bratwurst, potatoes, and sauerkraut with the parsley and serve with the toast, butter, and mustard.


I am not really known as a lover of sauerkraut. But, this recipe is ridiculously easy and comes out well. The key, I suspect, is draining the sauerkraut of all its krautey-ness. And, then heating it for a day doesn’t hurt either.

Sausage and sauerkraut with slices of rye bread

Carb-loaded much?

You could probably put the sausages and kraut in buns and use the potatoes as a side. And, while this isn’t exactly heavy on traditional green vegetables, anyone who has eaten sauerkraut can attest to its high-fiber content.

But, the best part of this recipe is that the peculiar smell of kraut was contained within the crock pot. And, dissipated quickly after I washed the darn thing out.


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