Sharing my mom’s recipe for Sauerkraut and German Potato Dumplings started with a bread pudding request for a tailgating party. This tailgate is not your typical tailgate, it’s the University of Illinois Homecoming game, and this tent can feed anywhere from 130 people to 300. Let’s get the party started!
Meet Chris, The Man In Charge
Chris is a part owner of the company that sponsors one of the many tailgates for Illinois home football games. Homecoming is the biggie, and that’s the game and party we’ve been attending for the past four years. Chris is a customer of my husband’s in the world of concrete. He loves organizing, preparing and serving people food – lots of food. When he heard about my post on Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce, he thought bread pudding would be the perfect fit for his party. His request was for a Crispy Cream bread pudding because that’s what his mom use to make. Not that he couldn’t make it on his own, but he knew he had an extra set of hands and who doesn’t love help in the kitchen?
187 Pound Pig
When I heard that Chris was roasting a pig, I immediately thought about sauerkraut and dumplings. Sauerkraut is the best with pork and adding potato dumplings with a few bites of bacon is perfection! I’ve been wanting to share the recipe for a while and thought it might be something different for the area which is Central Illinois and this particular group of people. Chris was preparing baked beans, macaroni and cheese, gluten-free macaroni with goat cheese, sauteed shrimp and vegetables, bacon wrapped scallops and bacon wrapped shrimp. I was on the sauerkraut and potato dumplings and bread pudding. Chris’ wife Karen, joined us in the kitchen and the three of us worked like a team that had been cooking together for years. Oh, and I have to add that the entire evening, Chris was baking very thick slices of bacon for Bloody Marys. Doesn’t everyone stir their Bloody Mary with a strip of bacon?
Sauerkraut and German Potato Dumplings
Sauerkraut and dumplings are easy to make, and the ingredients are basic. It’s just mashing the potatoes and then mixing in an egg and some flour with a bit of salt. My mom’s recipe card reads: roll logs the size of your middle finger. Mine always seem to get bigger and bigger with each roll. The dough is sticky, and you’ll need to roll on a floured surface. When ready, just slice the logs into 1-inch pieces and drop into the boiling water.
I boiled the dumplings in a crockpot! Did you know that a crockpot got that hot? It worked perfectly! The dumplings went from the there, directly into the sauerkraut. The pans were covered and refrigerated until the wee hours of the morning. And by wee hours of the morning, I mean 3 o’clock. Chris was up every hour and a half stoking the fire to keep the pig roasting temperature at an average of 200 degrees F. Around 3, the ovens were turned on, and he started baking. True dedication!
Lately, I’ve had a lot of on-location posts. It’s a busy time of year, and it’s been fun to incorporate my recipes even though I have little control over how my pictures turn out. What do you think? Do you like this type of post now and then? I’d love to hear your comments.
Now for some important questions. Have you eaten potato dumplings? What’s your take on sauerkraut? I know it’s not for everyone and some people would say it’s one of those foods you’ve grown up eating or you’ve acquired a taste for it. Please consider leaving a comment below.
A big Thank You goes out to Chris and Karen for being great hosts and allowing us to experience their love for feeding and serving people!
Thanks for stopping by, Rose
- 3 medium potatoes cooked and mashed (white or red potatoes will work)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8-10 slices of fried bacon, crumbled
- 2 cans sauerkraut (large 28 oz range is fine)
- Mash potatoes and add flour, egg, and salt and mix.
- Shape by rolling into logs the size of your middle finger. (roll on floured surface)
- Set aside while heating the sauerkraut.
- Fry and crumble the bacon.
- Drain the bacon and pour two tablespoons of the bacon drippings over the sauerkraut.
- Slice dumplings into 1-inch lengths and cook in boiling salted water for 10 minutes.
- When you first place the dumplings in the water, they will fall to the bottom and then float to the top as they cook.
- Drain the dumplings and add to the sauerkraut.
- Add the crumbled bacon.
- This dish can be made the day before and reheated.