When you think of Strudel, you probably automatically picture a sweet apple strudel. Am I right? Well in Central Europe they make some great savory ones also. You can find some pumpkin, spinach, sauerkraut and more strudel types here and there. The one here is a simple cabbage and smoked bacon bits one, served with a delicious homemade horseradish-dill sauce.
The original dough to cover Strudel is usually a thin and elastic puffy dough, but for this recipe I’ve used stacked phyllo sheets with a light spray of olive oil in between the sheets. I like the flakiness of the phyllo, plus it contain way less butter than the flaky puff dough. The only thing with phyllo is to make sure you to overlap the sheets so the liquid don’t escape from the strudel. Also when you cook with it, better add the strudel on the bottom level of the oven, than the bottom part can cook at the same pace than the top.
As for the filling, a simple white cabbage thinly sliced, an onion and smoked bacon bits with the typical German aromatics of sweet paprika and caraway seeds. Those 2 spices are what makes the German flavor here. I was surprised by the amount of sweet paprika german cuisine uses in so many of their traditional dishes. As for the caraway seeds, if you don’t know them yet, they look like cumin seeds although they taste nothing like it. They have a certain bitter-sweet taste to it nobody can resist and they are well known to help with digestive problems like heartburn, gas, bloating, etc. Often used in sauerkraut for it’s counter effect of the naturally gazy meal, the caraway should be an essential to any cabbage meals.
To accompany the KrautStrudel is a great and healthy dip; a horseradish-dill sauce. The original sauce is made with sour cream, which is kind of impossible to find where I live, so I’ve exchanged it for a natural greek yogurt. The resulting sauce is just sublime and accompany to perfection this KrautStrudel. The horseradish give a welcomed spicy kick to the whole meal.
So let’s roll this Strudel up!
Krautstrudel (German Cole and bacon roll)
Makes 4 portions
- 1/2 a white cabbage finely sliced
- phyllo pastry frozen pack
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 150g of smoked bacon cut into small pieces
- 150 ml of vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 30g of butter
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch (to thickens the leftover liquid in the last step)
- 100g of plain greek yogurt
- 2 tsp of sweet paprika
- 1 tsp of caraway seeds
- salt and pepper
The horseradish-dill sauce
- 150g of plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- a few branches of fresh dill
- 2 tbsp of grated horseradish
- 1 squeeze of 1/4 lime or lemon
- a pinch of sugar
- salt and pepper
*Make the horseradish sauce ahead and make sure to defrost the phyllo minimum 1 hour before use.
- Start with making the horseradish sauce by mixing all the ingredients and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours before serving
- Add to a big pan the onion, butter and salt at medium-low heat and let the onion softens for 5 minutes
- Add the bacon bits and bring up the heat (medium-high)
- When the bacon bits are well cooked, add the white cabbage, the broth, the paprika and caraway seeds
- Let the cabbage cook through and the broth reduce until almost gone, about 10 minutes
- When the volume is down by half, add the cornstarch and mix until no more liquid or barely any liquid left
- Take off the fire, add the greek yogurt and check the seasoning (salt and pepper)
- Let the cabbage mixture cool
- On a big piece of baking paper, stack the sheets of phyllo one over the other to make a big rectangle the size of the oven metal baking sheet, while having a layer of olive oil (spray or brush) in between each sheets
- Add the cabbage mixture to the low-center of the rectangle and close the 3 sides over the mixture and then roll up the Strudel with the help from the baking paper and transfer to baking sheet
- Add an extra layer of olive oil (I use a spray, then it’s just a fine layer) on top of the Krautstrudel, some extra paprika, caraway seeds and salt
- Cook at 200°C (400F) for 20 minutes on the lowest level of the oven, or until light brown
- Let cool a bit and serve with the horseradish sauce