Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins
This is a delicious Hungarian dish, usually made at Christmas time. My family loves it so much, that I have to make it more than once a year. As most Hungarian foods, this is a heavy one too! You can put the leftovers into the freezer, and warm it up even after a month. There is a saying in our country, which we use to describe a relationship, that was broken up, then warmed up again. "Only the sauerkraut is good warmed up", and this saying is true. It's just as good taken out of the freezer that it is served fresh. Enjoy! P.S: You shouldn't be choosey when you make this...you must taste it while preparing the raw meat!!
- 1 kg ground beef, shoulder is the best
- 2 kg sauerkraut
- 2 large onions, peeled and diced
- 1 egg
- 1 cup rice, uncooked
- speck (a middling-sized piece, minced and divided in half) or ham (a middling-sized piece, minced and divided in half) or lean bacon (a middling-sized piece, minced and divided in half)
- 1⁄4 cup tomato sauce
- sour cream, for serving
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- Squeeze out all excess liquid from sauerkraut into sink from and place in a bowl.
- Cook the rice (you should end up with about three cups).
- Put ground meat into another large bowl - you will need the space!
- In a large deep saucepan, in which you will be cooking the meal; braise the onion in plenty of oil, so it won't burn - until glassy.
- When done, pour off the oil, using spatula to keep onion in saucepan.
- Divide the cooked onions, leaving one half in saucepan
- Place the other half on the meat.
- Turn off the heat and put in plenty of paprika and the tomato sauce on onion left in pan.
- Pour in some water, just as much so the mixture gets creamy.
- Let cool a little, then pour on sauerkraut and mix together.
- Take the bowl with the meat and onion.
- Make a well in the middle of the meat mixture, add the egg and mix together with your hands.
- Mix in cooked rice.
- Add paprika for nice red color, salt and pepper to taste and marjoram.
- Knead until smooth.
- Make sure to taste while you are working with it. This meal should be quite spicy! But not TOO spicy!
- Place one third of the sauerkraut mixture into your sausepan and place half of the speck/ham/lean bacon on top.
- Make meatballs about the size of a kiwi - don't need to make them hard.
- Place in the pan, next to each other to make a "meatball layer".
- Put a second layer of sauerkraut mixture on top of it, then another layer of meatballs.
- Top it with the remaining sauerkraut.
- Place other half of speck on top.
- You must completely cover the meat layers with sauerkraut leaving no holes.
- Pour in water only until you can see it appear on the side - to about 3/4 of the pan.
- Cover, and cook on low heat. Do not stir!
- Occasionally lift pan up and move back and forth sideways, like you were steering your car.
- It is done when sauerkraut is so soft it melts in your mouth. You don't need to taste the meat, because it cooks sooner than the sauerkraut, so it is 100% done if your sauerkraut is cooked.
- Serve with sour cream.
Being Pennsylvania Dutch, Sauerkraut is a separate Food Group, all on it's own. I LOVED this Recipe!!! I cooked it in a Slow Cooker on Low for 6 hours. The meat was Perfection.I used Ground Pork instead of Beef and Chicken Broth in place of the water. I also added half a cup of Sour Cream and a quarter cup of Tomato Sauce to Cooker which made this Very Rich, Extravagant Sauce). Definitely going on My Autumn Buffet. Thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo very much!!!!!
i don't eat meat but this sounds delightful. I think i will first try to make it with tempeh or ground beef substitute.
Oh my, this is a wonderful recipe. As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to make it pronto. I took some liberty with your ingredients. For 1 pound ground beef I used 35 oz jar of sauerkraut, 1 egg and 1 C of cooked rice. Since I have lots of Japanese thin skinned green peppers producing really well in my garden along with gorgeous tomatoes, I also added this to the sauce. I sauteed the chopped green pepper and minced garlic with chopped onion. In place of spec, I used bacon. For 1 pound ground beef, I used 4 bacon slices, chopped. I also did not want to open a can of tomato sauce and used tomato ketchup (this is done a lot in Japan). Mixed 2 fresh tomatoes chopped with the sauerkraut mixture. I used 3 different types of paprika to bring the taste. It has been simmering now for two hours and I just had to have a bite of meat ball. One bite lead to finishing off the whole beef ball. This should really do well as a leftover and no doubt the taste will improve after one day in the refrigerator. Thank you so much for posting the lovely recipe for us to share. I will take a photo tomorrow to add to the review. This will go right into my very favorite dish!