Mother’s Austrian-Style Wine Sauerkraut Recipe

Welcome to my mother’s Austrian-style wine sauerkraut recipe! Sauerkraut is a staple in many European countries, and this recipe has been passed down in my family for generations. My mother’s version is a true classic and one that I am excited to share with you today.

Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that is packed with flavor and nutrition. It’s a great source of vitamin C and probiotics, making it a healthy addition to any meal. This dish is traditionally served as a side dish with sausage or pork, but it can also be used in soups or stews, such as the famous Szegedin goulash.

What makes this recipe unique is the addition of dry white wine, which gives it a deliciously tangy flavor. The caraway seeds add a subtle sweetness, while the bacon and apple provide a savory and fruity contrast. This recipe is perfect for those who love the German and Austrian style sauerkraut recipes.

I hope this recipe becomes a favorite in your home, just as it has been in mine. So, let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Mother’s Austrian-Style Wine Sauerkraut
Mother’s Austrian-Style Wine Sauerkraut

If you’re a fan of sauerkraut, then you’re definitely going to fall in love with my Mother’s Austrian-Style Wine Sauerkraut Recipe. But even if you’re not a fan, this recipe might just change your mind.

What sets this recipe apart is the unique combination of flavors that come together perfectly. The sauerkraut is cooked in a dry white wine, which adds a subtle sweetness to the tangy sauerkraut. The addition of bacon, onion, and apple provide a delicious depth of flavor that will keep you coming back for more.

But what really makes this recipe special is the caraway seed. This spice is commonly used in Austrian and German cuisine and adds a distinct earthy taste to the sauerkraut. It’s the perfect complement to the other flavors in the dish.

Another reason to love this recipe is its versatility. You can serve it alongside sausage, beef, or pork for a hearty and satisfying meal. It’s also a great addition to any charcuterie board or as a side dish for Thanksgiving or other holidays.

And if you’re looking for a healthy option, sauerkraut is packed with gut-healthy probiotics and is a great source of vitamin C. It’s also low in calories and fat, making it a guilt-free addition to any meal.

So, whether you’re a sauerkraut lover or not, give this recipe a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredient List

 A pot of savory sauerkraut simmering in red wine, ready to be served.
A pot of savory sauerkraut simmering in red wine, ready to be served.

Before starting, make sure you have all the following ingredients:


  • 32 ounces sauerkraut, washed and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large Red Delicious apple, peeled and chopped
  • 4 bacon slices, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat or butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed

This recipe calls for 32 ounces of canned sauerkraut, but feel free to make your own homemade sauerkraut or use good quality German-style sauerkraut. The addition of Red Delicious apple provides a slightly sweet flavor that perfectly balances the tangy taste of sauerkraut. Bacon slices add a savory and smoky flavor, while caraway seeds add a hint of earthy taste. You can also use butter or margarine instead of bacon fat and substitute cooking wine for dry white wine. Make sure to have all the necessary ingredients before starting to cook.

The Recipe How-To

 The aroma of tender pork and tangy sauerkraut fills the air.
The aroma of tender pork and tangy sauerkraut fills the air.

Now, let’s get started on making this mouth-watering Mother’s Austrian-Style Wine Sauerkraut Recipe. Trust me, you won’t regret it!


  • 32 ounces sauerkraut, washed and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large Red Delicious apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup of cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seed
  • 3 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of bacon fat or margarine


  1. In a large pot, melt the butter and bacon fat or margarine over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and bacon and cook until the onion is translucent and the bacon is crispy.
  2. Add the sauerkraut and Red Delicious apple to the pot, and mix well with the onion and bacon mixture.
  3. Pour in the dry white wine and cooking wine, and then add the sugar and caraway seed. Stir everything together.
  4. Cover the pot and simmer for 3-4 hours on low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pot.
  5. Once the sauerkraut is cooked, taste it and adjust the seasoning as needed. It should be slightly sweet and tangy, but not too sour.
  6. Serve the Austrian-style wine sauerkraut hot, topped with some extra bacon and caraway seed, if desired.


  • For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and use vegetable oil instead of bacon fat or margarine.
  • You can use 1 can of good quality canned sauerkraut (32 ounces) instead of homemade sauerkraut.
  • If you prefer a German-style sauerkraut, use red cabbage instead of white cabbage, and add some sliced sausage, beef, or bratwurst to the pot.
  • Austrian-style wine sauerkraut is a perfect side dish for pork, sausage, or any other meat dishes. It also goes well with German sauerkraut soup, Szegedin goulash, or Bohemian sauerkraut.
  • Kuehne and Czech sauerkraut are good brands to use for this recipe.

Now that you know how to make this Austrian-style wine sauerkraut recipe, you can impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 A hearty dish that warms the heart and soul.
A hearty dish that warms the heart and soul.

While my mother’s Austrian-style wine sauerkraut recipe is perfect just the way it is, there’s always room for experimentation in the kitchen! Here are some substitutions and variations you can try to put your own spin on this classic dish:

– Bacon: If you don’t have bacon on hand or prefer not to use it, you can substitute it with pancetta or omit it altogether for a vegetarian version.

– Dry white wine: Any dry white wine will work in this recipe, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute it with cooking wine or even apple cider.

– Caraway seed: This recipe calls for caraway seed, but if you don’t have any or don’t like the taste, you can omit it or substitute it with fennel seeds or mustard seeds.

– Red Delicious apple: While I love the sweetness and texture that Red Delicious apples bring to this dish, you can use any type of apple you have on hand, or even substitute it with a pear for a slightly different flavor.

– Onion: If you don’t have a medium onion on hand, you can use a large shallot or a few scallions instead.

– Butter/bacon fat/margarine: This recipe calls for butter, but you can use bacon fat or margarine instead, depending on your preference.

– Sauerkraut: If you don’t have canned sauerkraut, you can make your own by following Michael Mosley’s recipe for homemade sauerkraut, or you can use a different brand or type of sauerkraut, such as Bavarian sauerkraut or Czech sauerkraut, depending on the flavor you’re looking for.

– Sausage/beef/bratwurst/pork: While this recipe is traditionally served as a side dish, you can also turn it into a main course by adding your choice of protein, such as sausage, beef, bratwurst, or pork. You can also turn it into a soup by adding some chicken or beef broth and chopped cabbage for a hearty German sauerkraut soup.

– Red cabbage: For a slightly different flavor and texture, you can substitute some or all of the sauerkraut with red cabbage.

– Szegedin goulash: If you want to take this dish in a Hungarian direction, you can add some diced pork and paprika to make Szegedin goul

Serving and Pairing

 A perfect pairing for a chilly night in or a festive holiday feast.
A perfect pairing for a chilly night in or a festive holiday feast.

When it comes to serving this Austrian-style wine sauerkraut, there are plenty of options to choose from. This savory and tangy dish pairs well with a variety of meats, including pork, beef, sausages, and bratwurst. You can also serve it alongside a side of roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, or brown rice to make it into a hearty meal.

For a classic Austrian meal, serve the wine sauerkraut with a side of schnitzel or Wiener schnitzel, which are thin slices of breaded and pan-fried meat. The crispy texture of the schnitzel complements the tender and flavorful sauerkraut perfectly.

If you’re looking for a lighter option, you can serve the wine sauerkraut with a side salad made with fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette. This will balance out the rich flavors of the sauerkraut and make for a refreshing and healthy meal.

As for pairing, a dry white wine is the perfect match for this dish. Choose a good quality cooking wine or a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. The acidity of the wine will cut through the richness of the sauerkraut and enhance its flavors.

Overall, this Austrian-style wine sauerkraut is a versatile and delicious dish that can be served in many ways. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal or a lighter option, this dish is sure to satisfy your cravings and impress your guests.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Red wine adds a rich depth of flavor to this classic Austrian dish.
Red wine adds a rich depth of flavor to this classic Austrian dish.

This recipe is a great option for meal prep, as it can be easily made ahead of time and stored for later use. To make ahead, simply prepare the recipe as directed and allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When reheating, it’s important to do so gently to avoid overcooking the sauerkraut. I recommend reheating on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave, but be sure to use a microwave-safe container and cover it with a lid or microwave-safe wrap to prevent splatters.

If you find that your sauerkraut is a bit dry after reheating, you can add a splash of white wine or chicken broth to moisten it up. This will also help to enhance the flavor.

One thing to note is that the flavor of this dish will actually improve over time, as the sauerkraut and other ingredients have a chance to meld together. So if you have the time, I highly recommend making this dish a day or two in advance to allow the flavors to fully develop.

Overall, this recipe is a great option for those looking for a make-ahead meal that can be easily stored and reheated for a quick and delicious dinner.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The fork-tender pork melts in your mouth with every bite.
The fork-tender pork melts in your mouth with every bite.

Now that you have all the ingredients and know how to cook Mother’s Austrian-Style Wine Sauerkraut Recipe, let me share some tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time you make it.

1. Use good quality sauerkraut: The quality of the sauerkraut you use is crucial to the success of this recipe. Make sure to buy sauerkraut that is not too sour and has a good texture.

2. Rinse and drain the sauerkraut: Rinse the sauerkraut thoroughly and drain it well to remove any excess liquid. This will prevent the sauerkraut from being too salty and will help it absorb the flavors of the other ingredients.

3. Use a dry white wine: A good quality dry white wine is essential for this recipe. Avoid using cooking wine, as it is usually low quality and has added salt.

4. Add some sugar: Adding a small amount of sugar to the recipe will help to balance the acidity of the sauerkraut and wine, giving it a smoother taste.

5. Don’t skimp on the bacon: The bacon is a key ingredient in this recipe, as it adds a smoky, salty flavor that complements the sauerkraut and wine. Make sure to use good quality bacon and don’t skimp on the amount.

6. Use caraway seeds: Caraway seeds are a traditional ingredient in Austrian-style sauerkraut recipes and add a unique flavor to the dish. Make sure to use fresh caraway seeds for the best flavor.

7. Cook low and slow: This recipe is best cooked slowly over low heat, allowing the flavors to meld together and the sauerkraut to become tender. Don’t rush the cooking process, as this will affect the final result.

8. Let it rest: After cooking, let the sauerkraut rest for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to fully develop and the sauerkraut to become even more tender.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a delicious and authentic Austrian-style wine sauerkraut that will impress your family and friends. Enjoy!


Now that you have gone through the ingredient list and the recipe how-to, there may be some questions that might arise. In this section, I will address some frequently asked questions to help you with the preparation of this Austrian-Style Wine Sauerkraut Recipe. So, let’s get started!

What kind of wine is in sauerkraut?

When preparing sauerkraut, it is common in the Alsace region to use a dry white wine in combination with bacon to create a traditional and flavorful base before adding additional ingredients.

Is there wine in wine sauerkraut?

The nutritional facts for this dish include a combination of cabbage, water, salt, wine, and sulphites.

How to make sauerkraut Michael Mosley?

To prepare a delicious sauerkraut, begin by slicing up a red cabbage, two onions, and some fennel. Place them in a bowl and add a teaspoon of coriander seeds, black peppercorns, and 1.5 tablespoons of salt. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly using your hands for a few minutes, and let the mixture rest for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Do you add water to canned sauerkraut?

Let’s get started by preparing the sauerkraut. Empty the canned sauerkraut into a pot and strain it thoroughly. Once strained, pour just enough water over the sauerkraut to cover it completely. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add a tablespoon of white wine to the mix. Heat up the pot until the liquid comes to a boil.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, my mother’s Austrian-style wine sauerkraut recipe is a must-try for any sauerkraut lover or anyone looking to try something new. With its combination of sweet and savory flavors, this recipe is a perfect complement to any meal. And with the versatility of sauerkraut, there are endless possibilities for substitutions and variations to suit your taste.

Whether you prefer it with bacon, sausage, beef, or pork, or as a side dish, soup, or main course, this recipe is sure to impress. And with the added health benefits of fermented foods, you can enjoy this dish guilt-free.

So why not give this recipe a try and see for yourself why my mother’s Austrian-style wine sauerkraut has been a family favorite for generations? I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

Mother’s Austrian-Style Wine Sauerkraut Recipe

This recipe is simple, but delicious. The apple and caraway seed give it a really nice flavor and it makes a good accompaniment to any German-style food.

  • 32 ounces sauerkraut, washed under cold water
  • 3/8 3/8 cup margarine or 3/8 bacon fat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar (to taste)
  • 1 large Red Delicious apple
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 2 cups dry white wine or 2 cups cooking wine
  • 1 lb bacon (optional)
  1. Chop peeled apple into roughly bite sized cubes; set aside.
  2. Chop onion; set aside.
  3. Measure out butter or margarine, sugar, caraway seed and wine and have ready in separate containers to add at appropriate time.
  4. In large, deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. When heated add caraway seed and onion. Sauté three to four minutes until onion starts to get translucent.
  5. Add apple cubes in with onion and butter and caraway. Cover frying pan and with heat between medium and high, let the apple and onion caramelize for about five minutes or however long it takes to see the onion and apple start to brown. The heat will also bring out the flavor of the caraway seed.
  6. When onion and apple have become soft and starting to brown, add sugar and mix onion and apple and sugar until they are evenly
  7. mixed. Let sauté another minute to get the sugar into the other ingredients.
  8. Add the sauerkraut and with cooking tongs and a spoon, gently toss sauerkraut in the butter, fruit and onions and caraway seed mixture until it is evenly distributed and coated.
  9. Deglaze with white wine and again stir around until it is all mixed.
  10. Cover the skillet, reduce to simmer and let the sauerkraut steam for another 10-15 minutes on simmer, letting the flavors thoroughly blend.
  11. Adjust for balance between sweet and sour. If too sweet, add a bit of sauerkraut juice and stir it inches If too sour, add a bit more sugar to a ½ cup of hot water and dissolve, mixing that into kraut.
  12. Cover and let sauerkraut simmer a few minutes more to let it blend.
  13. **Note: if you want you can fry bacon in small strips until crisp. Retain 3;8 cup of bacon fat and use instead of margarine (as per recipe above). You can then cook the sauerkraut, onion, apples and caraway seed in bacon fat then follow the other steps of the recipe same as above.
  14. Crumble the bacon into the sauerkraut at the last minute before serving and toss.
Side Dish
< 60 Mins, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Meat, Pork, Vegetable

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