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Mulgikapsad (Sauerkraut with Pork and Barley)

A traditional dish hailing from southern Estonia, mulgikapsad is an enriched version of sauerkraut that combines sauerkraut with barley and pork or bacon. It uses inexpensive, locally-available ingredients and is traditionally eaten as a side, served alongside grilled meat and boiled potatoes. A hearty dish in cold weather, mulgikapsad is popular wintertime fare. Recipe Serving: Serves 5

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Total Time
55 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 2 lb (900 g) sauerkraut
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) barley groats
  • 1 lb (450 g) bacon
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • Water as needed


  1. Put sauerkraut, barley, and meat in a saucepan with water to cover.
  2. Cover the pan and cook slowly, checking periodically to see that the water does not boil off.
  3. Add salt and sugar to taste as the mixture reaches the boiling point.
  4. The dish is cooked when the barley groats are soft.
  5. Separately, fry the onions.
  6. Add onions just before serving.