Growing up in central Wisconsin, which has a vast heritage of Polish and German ancestry, one tends to consume sauerkraut on a fairly regular basis. Such was the case in my home, even though my immediate family does not have a predominance of either Polish or German heritage. We just happen to like this tangy, fermented vegetable. And, luckily my husband, who grew up in the same small Wisconsin town as me, loves it as well.
I used Metta Gardens Southwestern flavored sauerkraut for this dish, since the recipe already had a kick of spiciness to it with the other ingredients.
Metta Gardens is a small local company that is just recently branching out beyond the farmer's markets, and into the local retail marketplace as well, and I'm excited to be working with them to increase their brand exposure. They make the most amazing sauerkrauts that are packed with wonderful flavor and texture, and in case you weren’t aware, sauerkraut is a natural probiotic, making it very healthy for your digestive system. If you live in our local area you absolutely must visit Metta Gardens at the Saturday morning farmers market on Madison Avenue, and taste test their delicious products, or visit one of the other local retail locations where their products are now sold. Metta Gardens adds a variety of seasonings and spices to their original sauerkraut, making for a flavorful selection. I actually enjoy eating it straight out of the container as much as I enjoy adding it to recipes. Below are just a few of the sauerkraut products they produce. I arrived to the farmers market a little too late last weekend, and they had already sold out of a lot of product, so I'll be heading there earlier next time.
I love sweet tasting recipes, but for me, the sauerkraut is the ingredient that should be the “Star” of this recipe, and I really want more of the sauerkraut flavor to come through with this one, so for my own personal taste, the next time I make this I’ll cut in half, or maybe even down to a forth the amount of cranberries and brown sugar. I think that will bring out more of the sauerkraut flavors nicely.
I made this recipe using my pressure cooker in about 30 minutes, compared to the slow cooker/crock-pot method of 3 to 4 hours that was suggested. I paired the cranberry sauerkraut meatballs with some German potato salad, and buttery seasoned green beans for a delicious flavor packed meal.
If you’ve never tried sauerkraut, I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s very beneficial to your digestive system, and there are so many tasty ways of incorporating it into a meal. So, get out those lederhosen and enjoy some sauerkraut!