Hiking food

Trail Meal | Sauerkraut Potato Mash

Related to my earlier recipe for Dutch Instant Stamppot, Sauerkraut Potato mash or “Zuurkool” in Dutch is a winter staple. This recipe uses some ingredients that last a long time in a rucksack in any condition. Read on for the full recipe!

Sauerkraut is a food preservation technique that goes back a long way. Famously it goes back to the exploration days on ships to combat scurvy. And as a staple for many militaries on a campaign, the same as the hardtack or sea biscuit is known for. With modern packaging and clever use, you can take Sauerkraut quite easily on hiking and camping trips. This recipe shows a classic Dutch stamppot, but then ready in little time. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredient list for Sauerkraut Potato Mash

  • Sauerkraut – 150 gram sachet
  • Bouillion cube – 1, I used beef this time.
  • Instant potato sachet
  • Dried Sausage
  • Mustard – one fast food package or tablespoon
  • White pepper – to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • 350 ~ 400 grams/milliliter of water

The Dried Sausage can be replaced with anything you like or have stowed away in your pack. Traditionally Sauerkraut Potato mash is served with Dutch smoked sausage or thick-cut not smoked bacon, but the Dutch type is not available where I live. You can use bacon bits, summer sausage, salami, chorizo, beef jerky, turkey jerky, or a vegan/vegetarian option of your choosing. The same goes for the bouillon cube, this can also be replaced with a vegan option.

Not pictured -> Mustard + Pepper

Preparation and cooking

As with any trail meal recipe for hiking trips cooking is a matter of boiling water and adding your ingredients. Preparation at home is stuffing the ingredients in a Ziploc to keep them together, and you can use little containers like a small pill box if necessary for the spices or mustard.

If you can not find the little Sauerkraut sachets, you can transfer the sauerkraut into a plastic container or Ziploc. It should keep for a few days, as long as it stays submerged in its own liquid.

Here is the order in which you can cook the Sauerkraut Potato Mash.

  • Put 400 grams of water or 1.7 cups in your pot
  • Add your Sauerkraut and bouillon cube to the cold water
  • Once things are starting to boil let it go for another minute.
  • You can turn off your stove, add in your powdered mashed potatoes
  • Mix well, add in your mustard and give it another mix. Cover with a lid and/or add in a pot cozy. Let stand for a minute to fully hydrate the potatoes.
  • Finally, add in your white pepper and salt to taste. And give another mix. place sausage slices on top or add in your protein. You can now dig in!

Nutrient list and Pack weight

Eating all of the Sauerkraut potato mash will fill you up after a long hike, and is actually not the worst for you thanks to the Sauerkraut. The nutrient list is broken down below:

Mashed Potatoes 200 grams135 calories
Sauerkraut 150 grams38 calories
Bouillon cube3 grams7 calories
Sausage 50 grams 218 calories
Total 403 grams398 calories

You can see that this is not my lightest trail meal ever, however, the Sauerkraut makes a big difference in the flavor and enjoyment of the meal. If you want to save weight or cannot find a small enough Sauerkraut package you can substitute the “fresh” Sauerkraut with dehydrated Sauerkraut. Or otherwise use dehydrated vegetables that you have on hand, see also my earlier Trail Meal | Dutch Instant Stamppot where I go over other options.

Gravy or no Gravy?

One way to improve this recipe is to add a gravy packet to it, but this requires the use of another pot or scooping all the stamppot out to use the same pot. And does bring with it the extra dishes that you have to do plus extra cook time. You could boil more water, and set that aside in another cup to mix the gravy in. But then again, more dishes. Therefore I sometimes do it, I sometimes do not. It does make a nice difference though.

Some people add the instant gravy packet into the regular needed water for the mashed potato before mixing it all up. But that is not very tasty in my opinion. Gravy is in my mind only good if you have a pool of it sitting on top, not already mixed in. Feel free to adapt to your liking.

Hope you can take this trail meal recipe with you on your next hike! And please let me know in the comments how it turned out.

Happy Hiking and Hike for Purpose!

I'm Frank, the main guy and owner of this website. Loves hiking, gear and bushcraft. And can get quite nerdy about them. In the woods several times a week preparing for my next hike. Always searching for another hill, which is quite difficult in the Netherlands. That's why I search around several countries. More about me on the about page.

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