Homemade Polish Kapusta

“I cook with wine, and sometimes I add it to the food!”  ~Mom B.

Almost 17 years ago in a small town in Michigan, I met my husband.  I did not only meet my soul mate, I also married into a whole new food culture.  My husband and his family are Russian-Polish.  I have been so lucky to learn more about Kapusta-Pierogi-Golabki-Paczki-Babka….ok now I’m hungry.

This weekend we had a lovely visit with my Mom-and-Dad–in-law, and enjoyed cooking together.  I have to let you know, when I first met my husband, I did not enjoy Sauerkraut.  There are different ways to make Sauerkraut- a German way, and even a Polish way.  My background is German, Irish, and a little French, so I have only enjoyed it cooked the traditional German way.  The Sauerkraut I had growing up is wonderful, but does have a stronger flavor.  There is brine on the Sauerkraut, you can rinse it off, or cook it as it is from the container.  I have discovered that I do not enjoy the brine on the Sauerkraut.  This was a big discovery, because now I can enjoy this beautiful dish.

Last week I picked up some corned beef, and decided we should do a food fusion this weekend.  Why not mix my Irish culture, with my husband’s Polish culture, and make Corned Beef and Kapusta?  Sunday we pulled out the crock-pot, and let the Corned Beef cook for about eight hours.  When the Corned Beef was almost done, we started making the Kapusta….or I should say, my mother-in-law started making it.  I had fun taking pictures of the process so I could share with you.

To start we had to crack open the bottle of wine, we couldn’t very well start cooking without a glass of wine!

Rinse the Sauerkraut.

In a large pan sauté the onions.

I will not share the amounts used, because this is a recipe that goes by taste and not numbers.   Mom said, “This recipe has changed as it has passed down from generation to generation.”

Add the sauerkraut; let it cook on medium-high until browned.

While cooking the sauerkraut, you will add brown sugar.  She adds a little at a time.  She said, “taste it as it is cooking, and add more brown sugar if needed.”  Kapusta is sweet to me, where German Sauerkraut- to me- is bitter.  The reason for the differences in the two dishes is the addition of brown sugar, and washing off the brine.

Once the Sauerkraut is browned completely, it is time to enjoy some good family time laughing, and remembering growing up.  We always have some good laughs when we are together.

I still can’t believe I have been married for 14 years, and have been with my beautiful husband almost 17 years.  Time sure does fly by when you are having fun!

à votre santé!

What is the one dish you love your Mother or Father to make?

Until next time, Come on in, Have a seat,

Hugs, Terra


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  • That's a great recipe for sauerkraut! I love brown sugar! And, when my mother visits, she's only allowed to make Filipino dishes because she makes them better than I ever could.
    • Oh yum!!! That is so fun:) What kind of dishes does she make?
  • Mibeehive
    Great article..........says it all. Love cooking with you too. What better way to spend time but in the kitchen. Love you.
    • Thank you mom for all your support!!! Love you lots:-)
  • Yum! I've enver hadd Sauerkraut cooked this way and will definitely be making it soon! I love a good reuben sandwich and this would be an awesome addition! Thanks for sharing! My dad makes an amazing Flan...funny, he barely cooks anything, but Flan is his specialty! My mom makes ...everything! :)
    • Do you realize I have never really had a homemade Flan, I am always curious about them:-) If you try the Sauerkraut let me know:)
  • My grandma makes the most amazing kapusta but she doesn't have recipes for anything! Pretty frustrating.
    • Grandma's have the recipes, but all in their head:-) That is the hard part for us! Thank you for stopping by!
  • Celia
    This looks great! Might see if I can cook it up for my bff (she's Polish)...
    • Thank you!! Enjoy, let me know what you thought of it!! Take care, Terra
  • Susi’s Kochen und Backen
    I've never heard of this dish, but I grew up with German Sauerkraut and love it. This sounds incredibly delicious as well and you can't beat a recipe that has been handed down through generations :o) Congrats on 14 years of marriage!
    • It is truly so fun to learn about a recipe that has been handed down, such an honor to enjoy it! Thank you so much:-) Take care, Terra
  • [email protected]
    Why did you have to mention paczki?! ;-) Love that stuff! The Kapusta you made looks great... I've had it before and it was fantastic! I love me some sauerkraut.
    • I moved away from Michigan before I ever tried a Paczki:-( I so want to try a true Paczki....someday I will! Thank you so much!!! Take care, Terra
  • Pierogis! I haven't had real pierogi's in almost 20 years! Oh and I miss real Polish Kielbasa too. Now I miss my Polish grandmother and I'm hungry. I guess those are signs of a good blog post!
    • Awww, you are so sweet!!! Thank you so much:-) My Mom was just saying, she had not made Pierogis in so long. I feel a Pierogis blog coming in the future, that would rock!!! Hugs, Terra