Yes, another sauerkraut dish! This is a Flemish-inspired recipe from Peter Berley’s Modern Vegetarian Kitchen that I’ve been wanting to make for years. Alex was in the mood for seitan, and I was in the mood to use up more of my sauerkraut, so we bought a bottle of dark German beer and a couple of pounds of onions and we were all set.
The technique is pretty simple. In my dutch oven we sautéed the onions, then stirred in the sauerkraut, a bit of garlic, caraway seeds, black pepper, and bay leaves. We spread the seitan over the vegetables and poured in the beer. We brought the whole thing to a boil then baked the casserole at 300 for about an hour. We followed the recipe carefully, except that 1 pound of seitan looked like very little in comparison with the heaping mound of onions and sauerkraut, so we added 1.25 pounds. Also, we missed the bit about covering the casserole, and baked it uncovered. After 40 minutes or so the seitan was started to get a bit browned around the edges, so Derek stirred it into the veggies.
The seitan we used was from a new recipe for homemade seitan, which had a good flavor, but was unusually soft. And unlike other Berley roasted seitan recipes, the seitan is not tossed with any fat, so it doesn’t get that nice crispy exterior that it gets in some of his other recipes.
Derek and Alex and Ansley all seemed to enjoy this recipe. The onions and sauerkraut seemed to kind of meld together, so that neither one was that noticeable individually. I couldn’t taste the beer at all. Even the caraway seeds were not that noticeable. I was expecting it to taste kind of German, but instead it tasted very American somehow. Like the sauerkraut and Loma Linda linketts my mom used to give us when we were kids.
Berley says to serve this dish over roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes, or smashed turnips. We ignored his advice, and instead served it with steamed kale with tahini sauce. It was a nice combination, and we didn’t miss the root vegetables at all.
Derek said the dish was tasty, but ultimately not that interesting. I agree. I thought it was perfectly pleasant, but I wouldn’t rush to make it again. It’s certainly a pretty fast and easy way to use up a lot of sauerkraut and seitan and onions!