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This is the way my mother-in-law and other Latvian ladies prepare sauerkraut and after tasting it the first time, I have never prepared it any other way! It is so good and compliments roast pork or any German dish.
- Drain the sauerkraut only if it is too salty, otherwise use it with its own liquid.
- Heat the lard in a large saucepan.
- Take a handful of the sauerkraut and squeeze it dry.
- Put it in the hot lard and fry it until the sauerkraut has brown edges.
- Add the sauerkraut, apples, bay leaf, onion (if using), caraway seeds and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
- Add water to just barely cover the sauerkraut.
- Bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Add more sugar, if needed, gradually while the sauerkraut is cooking, tasting often.
- The sauerkraut should be pleasantly sweet-sour but not too sweet.