This sauerkraut quiche is all about comfort food and comes with loads of cheese, bacon and a potato crust. I prefer a milder cheese to balance the punchy tartness of the sauerkraut. I cooked the bacon almost or rather halfway crispy, but go ahead brown the bacon as you like, chorizo, pancetta or salami would be a good substitute or leave it out for a vegetarian version. As it comes to the potato crust, as I ran out of eggs (I could have sworn there had been eggs in my fridge…) I just skipped it and didn’t missed it at all. At the end this crust comes together just with grated potatoes (I used Russet potatoes), salt and flour and it is faster and easier compared to a regular pie crust.
Many of you are denying the fact that they are eating nutella straight from the jar, not me! I am totally guilty of that. Red wine, cheese, fries and chocolate also fall in the category of therapeutic treatz. I wish I could see your face, while you are reading my next confession, so please stay put and be a little open minded: I also do that with sauerkraut. I am not a bit ashamed of it and will do it over and over again. No matter what you say, I love sauerkraut. Every time I open a jar, I am grabbing a fork and dig in. I am a sucker for sour and fermented food. I enjoy everything with vinegary taste and there are never enough pickles on my sandwich! Fresh sauerkraut has also a crunchy and crisp texture.
But I have to admit it’s not easy to find the right jar or can. On the other hand, we all have to set ourselves a restriction to homemade and what we can and want to accomplish at home. If it comes to store-bought, it is worth spending a little more money on the good stuff. I often prefer the sauerkraut that comes in plastic bags in the refrigerator section of the grocery store, because it’s usually fresher. It’s like the quest for the Holy Grail… Hands down homemade sauerkraut is the best, taste wise and in regards of getting all the health benefits. Did you know sauerkraut is very low in calories, but provides a big bunch of Vitamin C, fiber and even more good stuff for you?
- for the crust:
- 500 g / 17.6 oz. about 2½ cups peeled, grated potato
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- for the filling:
- 6 slices of bacon (preferable thick-cut bacon), cut in pieces
- 500 g / 17.6 oz. sauerkraut
- 3 juniper berries (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 50 g / 3½ Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 50 g / 6½ Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 450 ml / 2 cups warm milk
- 300 g / 10.6 oz. young gouda or any mild cheese you like, divided
- salt, black pepper, nutmeg, caraway seeds, dill or parsley
- Preheat your oven to 190 C / 375 F and grease your 20 cm / 8 inch deep dish pie pan.
- Place the sauerkraut in a colander and rinse well. Put sauerkraut, juniper berries and bay leaf into a saucepot, add water until the sauerkraut is just covered, put on a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 25 minutes. Drain well and remove juniper berries and bay leaf.
- Meanwhile separate bacon pieces from each other and place them in a cold skillet. There is no need to oil the skillet as the bacon pieces releases their grease quickly. Cook on medium heat until it starts to brown. Drain on paper towels, set aside.
- In a larger saucepan make a bechamel sauce: melt butter over medium-low heat, add flour and stir with a whisk. Add milk and continue whisking until the sauce is smooth and very thick, add more milk if necessary. Stir in the sauerkraut, bacon pieces and cheese, but save a large handful of cheese for topping the pie!!! Season to taste with salt, black pepper and/or nutmeg and caraway seeds. Be careful with the salt, as the filling tends to taste saltier after baking. Parsley or dill is also a tasty addition.
- Put grated potatoes into strainer, sprinkle with salt, allow to stand for 10 minutes in your sink. Squeeze with your hand to remove excess liquid, move to another bowl, add flour, stir well to combine. Press into pie pan, forming an edge around rim of pie pan.
- Pour the sauerkraut-bechamel topping on the potato crust. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining grated cheese and bake 35-40 minutes or until set and golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. This quiche can be served hot or cold and reheats well even the next day.