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Layered Sauerkraut Casserole

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole

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This layered sauerkraut casserole with pork mince and rice is an old recipe from Transylvania that you will surely fall in love with if you taste it. In this recipe, we use almost the same ingredients as in the best Hungarian stuffed cabbage rolls recipe, the difference is that we will not fill and roll the sauerkraut, but we will place the ingredients in layers.

Table of Contents

Known as “Varza à la Cluj” (Cluj type cabbage) or “Kolozsvari Rakott Kaposzta” (Cluj layered cabbage), this recipe first appeared at the end of the 17th century in a recipe book printed in Cluj, but at that time rice was not yet known in the region. The recipe we will make together is from my family but very close to the modern recipe found nowadays in the region.

Ingredients

The recipe has three essential ingredients: sauerkraut, minced pork and rice, to which we will add some onions and sour cream at the end. For six large portions, I will use 1200 g of good quality sauerkraut, which you can find in stores with specific Eastern European and in hypermarkets preserved in a jar.

I need 800 g of minced pork or a mixture of pork and beef, but it must also contain some fat; the dish will be tastier and juicier.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Pork Mince, Sauerkraut, Rice and Onions

I will also use 300 g of uncooked rice and two large yellow onions, half of which I will prepare with the sauerkraut and one and a half I will cook with the minced meat.

Preparing the Ingredients

Before assembling the casserole in layers, we must prepare the ingredients, i.e., cook them beforehand, so we take them one at a time.

Cooking the Rice

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a saucepan and fry the rice first. Mix with a wooden spoon and fry for about a minute until it becomes a little transparent, and then add the water.

Usually, you add as much as twice the amount of rice in the water, so if we put 300 g (1.5 cups) of rice, we add 800 ml (3 cups) of water. Season with one teaspoon of sea salt and boil for 20 minutes or until cooked and it becomes soft.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Frying Rice in the Pot

If the rice has boiled, set it aside to cool until we mount the layered sauerkraut casserole, and until then, we continue with the rest of the ingredients.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Cooked Rice in the Pot

Cooking the Sauerkraut

Preparing the Onion and Sauerkraut

To prepare sauerkraut, I will use only half of the onion that I will chop finely.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Chopping the Onions

I do the same with sauerkraut, which, although it is cut thin, often is very long, so we need to chop them smaller.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Cut the Sauerkraut on the Chopping Board

Heat three tablespoons of sunflower oil in a soup pot and fry half the chopped onion. Fry it for about a minute at medium temperature until it softens a little, and add a teaspoon of sweet paprika.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Frying Seasoned Chopped Onions

Now we can add the sauerkraut, mix it with the sautéed onion and let it fry for two minutes to combine the flavours.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Frying Sauerkraut in the Pot

Pour enough water over the cabbage to cover it (I put 700 ml) and simmer it over medium heat for half an hour.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Simmering Sauerkraut in the Pot

I let the sauerkraut boil without a lid so that the water could evaporate, after which I seasoned it with a teaspoon of dried savory herb and half a teaspoon of caraway powder.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Seasoned Cooked Sauerkraut in the Pot

Lightly mix the sauerkraut with the spices and if it is cooked, take it off the heat and set it aside until you mount the dish.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Cooked Sauerkraut in the Pot

Frying the Pork Mince

We still have to cook the meat, and for this, I will first finely chop an onion and a half. In a larger frying pan, heat three tablespoons of sunflower oil and sauté the chopped onion with a teaspoon of sea salt.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Frying Chopped Onions in the Pan

After three minutes, when the onion has softened, add the minced pork and fry it a little together with the onion until it acquires a whitish colour.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Frying Pork Mince and Onions in the Pan

Season the meat with a teaspoon of marjoram, a teaspoon of caraway powder, half a teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, two tablespoons of tomato paste, a teaspoon of a vegetable mix and a tablespoon of Hungarian sweet paprika.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Frying Seasoned Pork Mince and Onions in the Pan

Mix everything lightly, add 300 ml of water (1.25 cups) and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes until the meat is cooked and the water will evaporate.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Simmering Pork Mince in the Pan

If the meat is ready, let it cool down a bit, and we can start assembling the layered sauerkraut casserole.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Cooked Pork Mince in the Pan

How to Make the Layered Sauerkraut Casserole?

Choose a baking tray; it can be made of heat-resistant glass or stainless steel roasting pan as I chose; it is essential to have higher edges because there will be more layers.

Grease the baking tray with two tablespoons of sunflower oil and place half of the sauerkraut quantity in the first layer.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Sauerkraut is the First Layer in the Baking Dish

Over the sauerkraut, you will put half of the boiled rice, forming the second layer of the dish.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Rice is the Second Layer in the Baking Dish

The third layer will be the whole amount of minced meat that you will spread over the entire surface.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Pork Mince is the Third Layer in the Baking Dish

In reverse order, add the rest of the boiled rice, which will be the fourth layer.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Rice is the Fourth Layer in the Baking Dish

We will finish with the last layer, the sauerkraut, again, adding the other half of it.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Sauerkraut is the Fifth Layer in the Baking Dish

On top, I will spread the 300 ml of sour cream, which will get a golden colour after baking and give a unique taste to the dish.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Sour Cream on the Top of Cabbage Casserole

Baking the Casserole

Put the tray in the preheated oven at 200 C ( 392 F) for only 30 minutes until the cream will take on colour; they have to combine their flavours because the ingredients have been already cooked.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Baked Sauerkraut Casserole Ready to Serve

Remove the tray from the oven and let it cool a bit so you can remove the beautiful slices from the tray and that’s it, this was my layered sauerkraut casserole recipe, and I highly recommend you to try it.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Served in Baking Dish

Serving

Put a slice of layered sauerkraut casserole on a plate, add a tablespoon of sour cream or Greek yoghurt on top, and you’ll get a divine dinner with a glass of cold beer.

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Served on Plate With Sour Cream on the Top

Both cabbage and sauerkraut are primary ingredients in Hungarian cuisine, so I can recommend other Hungarian Cabbage recipes on our blog from these ingredients, such as:

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Served on Plate With Sour Cream on the Top

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Layered Sauerkraut Casserole-Served on Plate With Sour Cream on the Top
Layered Sauerkraut Casserole 1

Layered Sauerkraut Casserole

Timea
This layered sauerkraut casserole with pork mince and rice is an old recipe from Transylvania that you will surely fall in love with if you taste it.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Baking Time 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Hungarian
Servings 6 portions
Calories 884 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1200 g sauerkraut
  • 800 g pork mince
  • 2 pieces onion
  • 300 g rice
  • 10 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt kosher
  • 4 tsp paprika Hungarian sweet
  • 1 tsp marjoram dried
  • 1.5 tsp caraway powder
  • ½ tsp ground pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp vegetable mix
  • 1 tsp savory
  • 300 ml sour cream
  • 1800 ml water

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the rice for about a minute until it becomes a little transparent, and then add the water. Season with sea salt and boil for 20 minutes or until cooked and it becomes soft.
  • Heat the sunflower oil in a soup pot, fry half the chopped onion for about a minute at medium temperature, and add the sweet paprika. Add the sauerkraut, mix it with the sautéed onion and let it fry for two minutes.
  • Pour enough water over the cabbage to cover it and simmer it over medium heat for half an hour. Season it with dried savory herb and caraway powder.
  • Heat the sunflower oil in a larger frying pan and sauté the chopped onion with sea salt. After three minutes, add the minced pork and fry it a little together with the onion until it acquires a whitish colour.
  • Season the meat with marjoram, caraway powder, freshly ground pepper, tomato paste, vegetable mix and the Hungarian sweet paprika. Mix everything lightly, add water and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  • Grease the baking pan with sunflower oil and place half of the sauerkraut quantity in the first layer. Over the sauerkraut, put half of the boiled rice, forming the second layer of the dish. The third layer will be the whole amount of minced meat that you will spread over the entire surface.
  • In reverse order, add the rest of the boiled rice, the fourth layer. You will finish with the last layer, the sauerkraut, add the other half of it and on top, spread the sour cream.
  • Put the tray in the preheated oven at 200 C ( 392 F) for only 30 minutes until the cream will take on colour.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gramsCalories: 884kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 30gFat: 62gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 2248mgPotassium: 915mgFiber: 7gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 588IUVitamin C: 36mgCalcium: 160mgIron: 5mg
Keyword layered sauerkraut caserole, sauerkraut casserole
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