1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs parsley
2 pounds flanken, beef short ribs or brisket
1 pound beef bones, optional
1 onion, skin left on, quartered
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic
3 quarts cold water
2 pounds sauerkraut with juice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste
1/2 cup packed brown sugar or to taste
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
To prepare broth: Tie peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf, thyme and parsley in cheesecloth to make an herb bundle. In a large pot, combine flanken, beef bones, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, herb bundle and water. Bring to a boil; skim off foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat; simmer until meat is cooked and tender and broth is reduced to about 2 quarts, about 1 1/2 hours. Skim broth often to remove any fat that rises to the surface.
Strain broth into large saucepan; let cool to room temperature. Refri gerate broth until cold. Fat will congeal on surface. Skim it off and discard. Tear meat into shreds, discarding any visible pieces of fat or bone. Return meat to broth. Discard remaining solids.
To prepare soup: Return broth to large pot. Add undrained sauerkraut, salt, pepper, lemon juice and brown sugar; simmer 15 minutes. Correct seasoning, adding brown sugar, lemon juice or salt as needed. Soup should be a little sweet, a little sour and highly seasoned.
Ladle soup into shallow bowls, crowning each with a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle a bit of parsley in center of sour cream; serve at once.
Yield: 8 servings.
Sauerkraut my favorite, next to eggplant. Found this recipe with some effort. Thankful I did. Sounds very good and interesting. Especially when the weather is agreeable. Should be cool like someone said.