A meal in itself, Sauerkraut Casserole with Dill Cucumbers is ideal for an imaginative but economical supper. Serve with crusty bread and well-chilled German lager.
2 oz. plus
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 oz. flour
12 fl. oz. chicken stock
2 lb. sauerkraut, soaked in cold water for
15 minutes and drained
4 dill cucumbers, sliced
8 oz. garlic sausage, chopped
8 oz. German sausage, such as knackwurst or bratwurst, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato puree
6 fl. oz. sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
With the tablespoon of butter, grease a large ovenproof casserole and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt half the remaining butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is soft and translucent but not brown.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce is thick and smooth.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce on to the onion. Stirring constantly, mix in the sauerkraut and cucumber slices. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4, 180CC).
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the garlic sausage, German sausage and tomato puree. Set aside.
Remove the pan from the heat. Arrange about one-third of the sauerkraut mixture on the bottom of the casserole. Cover with half ot the sausage mixture. Continue making layers in this way until the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of sauerkraut.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the sour cream and egg together with a kitchen fork until they are thoroughly combined. Spoon the cream mixture over the sauer-kraut in the casserole.
Place the casserole in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the top has set and is golden brown around the edges. Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.