Sauerkraut and Weenies (& Your Favorite Po’Folks Food!)

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When I was little, we couldn’t wait for supper each night. Mama always put together budget meals, not because she was  trying to scale back on expenses, but because we barely had enough to feed us all and a “budget meal” was just a nice way of saying we could make a single pound of ground beef stretch for two meals.

This is one of my dear favorite meals as a girl and still is. It is a prime example of what I call “poor folks food”, and so very good! Oh goodness I’m getting hungry. I see this meal and I feel like a little girl with two pony tails coming in from playing outside, just barely stopping as I ran into the house and took my seat at our table. Remember how we’d fly through that front door  when Mama called us for supper? Coming in all breathless and hot, and just as you hit the door you’d get a whiff of what was cooking and realize that you were starving.

Raise your hand if you had a dirt necklace every night when you were a kid! ~raises hand proudly~

Now I realize some folks are just not sauerkraut fans. Chances are, I lost ’bout half of you in the title of this post, but the funny thing is what happened to the other half! Some of y’all saw that title and your mouth started watering, you clicked on it to see the photo and your stomach started growling, and chances are pert dern good that you’ll be having this for supper tonight. Those who don’t fit into this category, feel free to think of the rest of us as weird, we won’t mind and there will be more sauerkraut for us!

This is one of those meals that is great with slices of polish sausage but I still like to cook it how Mama did growing up, just by chopping up a few weenies and cooking until the kraut and weenies brown a bit. It is divine served with a side of pintos and a big old slice of cornbread. Mmmmm, thats good eating right there.

You can add as many weenies or sausage as you like and if you’re vegetarian, just get some vegan hot dogs and keep on keeping on.

You’ll need: Sauerkraut and weenies.

You’ll also season with salt and pepper. How many weenies you use is up to you. We used to have to determine this based on how many we had, so to be able to use as many as you want is a big step up nowadays.

I have a friend from Germany ~waves to Gudrun~ who swears by the bagged sauerkraut so I started buying it and now I’m a convert, too. You can get it in the refrigerated section near the weenies usually and sometimes near the deli if they have a refrigerated section there as well. Mama likes the kind you get in a glass jar and we’ve both used the kind that comes in a can (which you get on the vegetable aisle). Overall, they are all good and there isn’t a lot of price difference so it is up to you to pick  your favorite .

Slice your weenies and put them in a large skillet.

Add in about two cups of sauerkraut.

Cook this over medium to medium high heat, stirring often.

Season with salt to taste.

And pepper to taste.

You can start with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and then adjust to make it just right for you.

You can cook this until your weenies and sauerkraut get a little browned or you can just cook it until everything is heated through.

It sure does look nice if you brown it but I can never wait that long.

Now here is a supper from the old days!

Tell me about your favorite “Poor Folks Food” growing up in the comments section below!

You are welcome to chat with each other in the comments as we all reminisce.

This is our big old dinner table and we’re all family here!


Sauerkraut and Weenies

Sauerkraut and Weenies

Ingredients

  • 2-4 weenies (or polish sausage)
  • 2 Cups sauerkraut
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice weenies into small pieces. Place in skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add Sauerkraut. Cook, stirring often, until kraut and weenies brown slightly. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
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Suggested Accompaniments:

Pintos

Dixie Cornbread

Mama Reed’s Fruit Cocktail Cake


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Comments

  1. Wendy says

    I’m supposed to be spending my lovely day home – all by myself! – doing housework; however, I decided to jump on here to get some supper ideas… Oh well, the housework will still be here!

    To this day, my favorite “po folk” meal has to be fried potatoes and Treet. Not Spam – Treet! I’m told it was due to the fact that Spam is about twice the price of Treet. If I’m stumped for supper ideas, it’s one of hubby’s first suggestions every time! At $1.25 a can, sometimes now we even get to use 2 cans! He just started a new job after a month of being unemployed, and his first check is still a week & a half away, so I went through the pantry this weekend and was thrilled to see 4 cans of Treet sitting on the shelf!

    We just cut the Treet into bite-size pieces and dump in the pan with the potatoes as they’re frying. You have to love a meal that fills up so many people for so little money! Add some cornbread and my family thinks “wow, she fixed one of my favorite meals” and I think “wow – I fed my family for under $3.00 (or under $5.00 if I splurged and used 2 cans!)

  2. Beth sanchez says

    My favorite po folks food was also the famous SOS. Now adays it is a treat for me because neither my husband or son will touch it so on days they want a dinner i dont particularly care for i will mix this up for me and take the extra to work the next day for lunch. Yummy! Although i have recently started using your tip of precooking the hamburger meat and freezing it which i have found to be a lifesaver on nights when i am exhausted. Now i can just make enough for me instead of feeling like i have to cook a whole pound of meat.

  3. says

    I’m super late to the party, but came across this post while I was planning my menu for next week. We had two budget meals my mom made aaaallll the time that I absolutely hated……creamed chipped beef and creamed tunafish. However, I’m pretty sure my fiance would absolutely love both of my most hated childhood menus, so I might have to give them a second chance!

  4. Josey Schaub says

    I like Jodi T.’s idea of weenier and fried potatoes, the kraut would be hard on our sensitive tummies. Will be making something like it this week, thanks for the inspiration! Love the budget meal planning posts!

  5. Lisa says

    My mama would cook up some stewed tomatoes, put a little thickening in there and pour it over corn bread. Would always have fried potatoes cooked with onion with it. Yummy, also has a lot of crap and weenies(kraut and weenies) lol. Also salmon patties. If you didn’t get enough to eat you could always eat you some milk and bread, with a little onion or cheese!

  6. Mary says

    I had two favorite “po folk” dishes. Macroni and tomatoes and fried potatoes with onions with weiners sliced and cooked on top! Delish! I sure didn’t know we were “po folks” with good food like that!

  7. Tracey says

    I haven’t had kraut in years so I’ll have to go out & get some! My mom used to make us fried bologna, “soft” fried potatoes & pork n beans…that was some good eatin’ right there:)

  8. Debbie says

    Same as yours, girl :) This WVa girl (who now lives in Ohio with a Buckeye hubby) loves her weenies and sauerkraut with a side of pintos and cornbread…. that’s some good eatin’! Not so sure he agrees, but I make it just the same, you don’t want it? There are fast-food places all over!

  9. Cindy says

    Yummy and cheap ….. feed mom and 5 kids (dad worked nights). A hot German potato salad and hot dogs in the pressure cooker. I have a sneaky suspicion Mom ate mostly potatoes. Gotta love a sacrificing mom. Miss her daily!!

  10. Tina says

    A big bowl of potatoe soup and cornbread. Now that is good eatin’!!! My aunt wouldn’t eat it. She said it made her feel poor. Funny… to me there’s nothing any better.

    Tina

  11. JJH says

    Mom always added a bit of sugar to give it a sweet & sour flavor. Added water as needed until sauerkraut took on on a caramel color. Made for my family, too, but haven’t made it for years. Son ~ now 42 yrs old ~ loved it so much he make in his own home.

  12. Barbara Miller says

    my paw would feed me saltine crackers and ketchup. we loved it. Mom used to make us a treat on Saturday mornings of white bread dotted with butter and sprinkled with brown sugar and toasted under the broiler. Aunt Sue used to make the best tomato sandwiches from tomatoes from the garden, Sunbeam bread and Dukes mayo, we called them Sue Sandwiches. The tomatoes were from grannies garden and the 1″ thick, red and yellow slices were bigger than the bread slice. MMMMMMMMM!

  13. Krista says

    Im way late but we had this and SOS. :-) both were my favs too and I have not made these for my boys.. getting on that this week! Thanks for the reminder of what real life should be like. Also one of our midwest poor foods was a can of vegetable beef soup dumped into cooked elbow macaroni. learned to hate it as a kid but oddly crave it once in awhile as an adult! lol

  14. Beth says

    Pinto beans cooked with a ham bone, potatoes fried with onion and white bread and butter under the pintos, yummmm! We didn’t grow up with cornbread, and now days I never eat white bread, but still like whole grain under the beans.

    Mom called hamburger, onion, elbow roni and canned tomatoes goulash, my apologies to the real stuff, but I still love it and make it often.

    White rice with milk, sugar and butter and cinnamon when you were too sick for regular dinner. still a treat!

  15. Jayson in Oklahoma says

    I grew up eating sauerkraut and wieners. My mother and all my grandmother’s made this, pretty much the same way. Very simple and cheap, but very good. We would have red beans, cornbread and soft fried potatoes. Christy, the plates you have the kraut, beans and cornbread on are the same plates my parents had that I remember eating on my whole life. They were a wedding gift to my parents, back in 1977. Love these simple old time foods. Lots of memories.

      • Ruth S says

        SOS is S*** (poop) On a Shingle! My husband said that’s what the Navy called it. It’s chipped beef, the kind you get in the little jars, rinsed and chopped and added to milk gravy, or bechamel sauce. Some make it with hamburger, and I’ve used the little packs of Buddig wafer sliced beef with good results.

    • Mabel says

      I still love kraut and wieners!!! But I have to make instant mashed potatoes with this!!! I DO NOT make instant mashed potatoes ANY other time!!! It is weird but needed every now and then!!!

  16. Drew says

    My momma always made macaroni noodles and tomatoes.. gooood stuff. And salmon patties, I LOVE those. And cube steak. Also, what we called Swiss steak, which was cube steak, and basically vegetable stew with rice.

  17. Ashley Lowe says

    My grandmother made a dish called tomato pudding. It consisted of her canned tomatoes, light bread, butter, brown sugar and salt and pepper. I loved it! When my husband and I started dating I told him he HAD to try it! He took one bite and made a terrible face! Haha he was not a fan. We also used to eat macaroni and tomatoes with ritz crackers. That’s still one of my favorite dishes!

  18. Amanda M says

    Back in the 70′s when I was growing up, Hamburger Helper was new at the grocery with only two flavors. I remember them well as we ate it every week cuz my Mom really disliked cooking which I guess is the reason I love cooking! Cheeseburger Macaroni and the Potato Stroganoff. Glad to have it then and wouldn’t eat it for years when I got older, but now crave it occasionally.

  19. Chris Thomas says

    We grew up on this, with a slight variation. Because the sauerkraut was a little too sour for us kids, mom would drain the liquid from the kraut. She’d then put it in a pot, put a little water over it, added a pinch of sugar and a teaspoon or so of caraway seeds. Then she’d let it simmer for about a half hour. For the hot dogs, she’d cut them up and fry them up with a little butter and oil until they were browned. Then she’d throw them into the pot with the kraut for a bit and then serve them up with a side of baked beans and Boston brown bread.
    The only thing that could top that was when my grandpa would take me to Coney Island, which we lived not far from. There we’d each get two Nathan’s hot dogs slathered with hot Kosher mustard and topped with that day-glow green relish, a side of chips (fries), and wash it all down with an ice cold Nedicks orange drink. Oh how I miss that.

  20. Lisa says

    We have sauerkraut and weenies when we are needing a trip to the grocery and there is nothing left in the house to cook. Ha ha. I add a little sugar to the kraut and we have fried potatoes and cornbread. My husband eats so much he almost makes himself sick! We also like macaroni and tomato juice and often fix that when nothing else sounds good or someone is not feeling well.

  21. Beverly Wagner says

    My childhood favorite was grits, scrambled eggs and fried potatoes. Mama would cut the potatoes really thin and fry them up crunchy. We would even use them as spoons to scoop up the grits. My older cousins used to scramble ground beef and add it to canned pork and beans. I’m not sure what else they put in there, but like so many of you, I get a craving for it every once in a while :)

  22. Valorie D says

    Funny to see this – we just had sausage and kraut with fried potatoes a couple weeks ago after not having it for years. We ate a lot of ham and beans with cornbread. Pork and beans were a regular “side” dish. When we were at the end of the food budget Mom was sure to make hamburger soup with whatever leftovers were in the fridge – she always saved every little spoonful left after a meal. Our salmon patties were really mackerel as it was cheaper. Today one of our favorite quick budget meals is breakfast sausage patties and baked beans.

  23. Mary Ellen says

    Oh, that looks so good! My family is German and I grew up eating sauerkraut with sausages, hot dogs, pork cops…etc. I agree that the bagged kind tastes better. I was just reading that it is really good for you since it contains probiotics so it helps with digestion and your immune system. Now if I can only convince my kids to eat it…lol!! Thanks for the recipe, Christie! I am not a Southern girl myself, but I love good food!

  24. Annaliese says

    While spending summers at my great grandparents farm in rural Nebraska, kraut and pork was a stable always on the table. I remember great grandma planting, harvesting and curing the cabbage in big crocks that were in what she called the “ladder”. The pork also came from the farm/smokehouse and there was always a different kind served w/the kraut. My favorite was w/ big, thick slabs of bacon. Thanks so much for recalling the memories for me!

  25. Jayson in Oklahoma says

    I’ve noticed a number of people mention eating “Macaroni & Tomatoes”. I also grew up eating them as well. My great-grandmother used to make it. I make them the way she did and it is so good. Is that something common around the country, or just in the South? Our version wasn’t like “Italian” tasting, but more southern, because of the bacon grease added to it with large elbow macaroni, onion, and fresh or canned diced tomatoes, some reserved pasta water, salt, pepper and sugar. So simple but so good and satisfying. Just curious about anyone else’s thoughts on Macaroni & Tomatoes.

  26. Sandy Noonan says

    my mom,cooked sour kraut with a little brown sugar and two green apples sliced thin.
    she would let that cook for 3 min. then put in the sliced hot dogs. and let the hot dogs get hot.
    then on the side she would serve boiled potatoes.for my self,I just like the sour kraut and hot dogs.
    it is so good .

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