Sauerkraut Stew

Okay, I bet some of you are hoping I never go on vacation again. Good news: I have a recipe and a mere four pictures today! (Bad news: we have a week-long mountain escape planned in a few weeks, but I can’t imagine that will overtake my blog for a month afterwards.)

First of all, Happy Bloomsday! It’s mid June and although so far weather on the East Coast has been cycling from unbearably hot (Memorial Day weekend) and super-nice (this week), I decided the other night that I was making a stew for dinner. Honestly, it was a pretty wintry dish, but I eat soup year-round and I won’t apologize for it! Also, I had some sauerkraut that needed to be eaten. And I missed the farmers market last weekend so I didn’t have many vegetables and was totally lacking in inspiration. I suppose you could say my lack of inspiration inspired this stew.

Sauerkraut Stew

12 oz vegan “beef” (I used Gardein Beefless Tips, but TVP chunks or any seitan would work, and I think Soy Curls would have been excellent.)
1 medium onion, chopped (instead of this, I used pearl onions)
2 large carrots, chunked
2 stalks celery, chopped large on the bias
1 large or 2 small/medium potatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 cups vegan “beef” broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2-3 cups sauerkraut
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat some oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. If you are using regular onions cook them for a few minutes. (If you are using pearl onions, skip this step and just add them with the other vegetables.) Add whatever “beef” you are using and brown it, then add the garlic and fry for a minute or so. Then add the rest of the vegetables and fry for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and use their juices to deglaze the pot if necessary. Add the “beef” broth, sauerkraut, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about half an hour or until the carrots and potatoes are soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mark and I top almost all our meals with some form of hot sauce, and I naturally assumed I’d add some to this stew, however, it was so delightfully perfectly sour, with a small kick of heat from the pepper, that I didn’t want to ruin it with hot sauce, especially a vinegar-based one. You’ll want to add the sauerkraut in accordance to your tastes, depending both on how sour your sauerkraut is and how sour you like your stew. Mark took one bite of his and said simply, “I approve.”

Guess what we haven’t had in a while? A raccoon update! We have, I think, 27 babies right now, and most of them are very healthy; several have overcome great hardships like being burned in a chimney and being chomped by some unknown predator. What we need is help! We really don’t have enough volunteers. Anyone in Northern Virginia interested in cleaning (or building) raccoon cages….and feeding little faces like this?!

Meet Tobias. He’s a real sweetie and one of my favorites.

This is not Ulysses; I believe it’s Unity, however we do have a Ulysses and I’m not telling whether or not I put Guinness in his formula today for Bloomsday! (Alright, I’ll tell: obviously I didn’t.)

Remember Emmy, the awesome surrogate mother who is raising five of our babies for us? Here she is during Memorial Day weekend trying to beat the heat by hiding under a deck. You never know where you might find a raccoon at the sanctuary! She was probably a lot cooler than me.


  1. jill Said,

    June 16, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

    NoVa?! Where exactly (or, well, approximately?) I’d love to come help but am guessing the odds aren’t too good that you (and your 27 raccoons) are close to a metro.

  2. renae Said,

    June 17, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    Jill, it’s in Lorton. Unfortunately, nowhere near a metro, but if you want more information, let me know.

  3. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy Said,

    June 16, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

    oh my gosh those raccoons are so cute! and that stew looks very tasty! thanks for sharing!

  4. Joey Said,

    June 17, 2012 @ 4:58 am

    Oh wow – those raccoons are beyond sweet!

    I love sauerkraut, but normally I just have it on the side of whatever I’m eating. Putting it in a stew = genius!

  5. Josiane Said,

    June 17, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    You go on vacation as often as you like, and you blog them as much as you want, darling!

    Great stew! I’ll keep it in mind for… sometime later. Even though I am, like you, of the “soup is a year round thing” persuasion, the weather these days is pretty close to the “unbearably hot” variety… I’m hoping it won’t stay like that for too long!

  6. Jes Said,

    June 21, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    Tobias, I would like you in my life!! Those paws, eyes, ear tufts!! (I know, I know, he’s wild…but still…)

    I’m a huge fan of sauerkraut stew–yours looks awesome! And, whatever, I like your vacation pics. No worries there!

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