Saturday, March 14

St. Patrick's Day and Sauerkraut Balls

At the Irish Parade
St Patrick’s Day has always been a fun holiday for us and a reason to spend time with family and friends.  Our day always starts with breakfast then off for a fun filled day with a stop at our favorite tavern, then an Irish parade, followed by visiting the Irish Family Reunion and then back to our favorite St. Patty’s Day tavern, the Hey Hey Bar and Grill.

The Hey Hey is actually located in an old immigrant neighborhood called German Village where my mother grew up. When young, my father (who was mostly Irish) was visiting his sister Mary, (who lived near German Village) and met my mother (who is German).
I also married an Irishman, and both our German and Irish heritages are celebrated and embraced by my husband and I and our children.  

My husband Bill was even at the Hey Hey for their Friday Steak-fry lunch with business associates back in 1989 when I went into labor with our daughter Alexis.  After numerous phone calls to locate him, I was able to find him in time for our daughter’s entrance into the world.
The Hey Hey serves traditional food on St. Patrick’s Day including Corned Beef and Cabbage and Irish Coffee. And their famous Sauerkraut Balls are served every day.  These delicious morels were even featured in MidWest Living Magazine!

Cold beer and good food at the Hey Hey 

The Hey Hey Bar and Grill was built in 1900.
"During Prohibition, it was a speakeasy, one of the few well documented in Columbus. At that time, the windows were closed up and the patrons said that they were playing cards! The gentlemen who brought the bootleg would always say, “Hey! Hey! The Beer’s Here!” They became known as the Hey Hey Boys and the name stuck!"
The current owners, Sue and Tim Gall have owned and operated the Hey Hey since 1981.  The Hey Hey is located at 361 E. Whittier, Columbus, Ohio.
My husband Bill, daughter Alexis and owner Tim Gall

The Hey Hey is a true, old-school, neighborhood tavern. And that’s one of the reasons we like it, because it retains a true neighborhood bar feel.  Recently they have allowed well known food truck chefs to work out of the kitchen Thursdays to Saturdays which has really kicked up the “bar food” to a whole new level.  And thank goodness the Sauerkraut Balls and Yak burgers still remain on the menu!
The Hey Hey's corned beef and cabbage

I got a terrible craving for the Sauerkraut Balls so decided to make a batch.
Here are a couple things to know before making the sauerkraut balls.  
Make sure to drain the sauerkraut well.  Pat dry with paper towels even.  The sauerkraut balls may be a little squishy inside if you don’t.  
You may also want to add one slightly beaten egg to the meat mixture to help it set up a little better, but it was not in the original recipe.
Also, these homemade sauerkraut balls are delicious but I must tell you there is nothing like eating the real thing while setting at the bar holding on to a stout and enjoying the atmosphere at the Hey Hey!

Hey Hey Sauerkraut Balls

The Hey Hey making Sauerkraut Ball
1/2 pound regular or spicy pork sausage
¼ cup onion, diced
1 (16 oz) can sauerkraut, drained
2 Tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon sweet hot mustard
Pinch of pepper and garlic salt
4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 to ½ cup flour
1/3 to ½ C. seasoned bread crumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tbls water

Oil for frying

Directions:   (Recipe can be doubled)
Cook sausage until nearly done then add onion.  Cook until onions are translucent. 
Crumble sausage into very small pieces. Drain and cool.

Drain sauerkraut well

Make sure to drain the sauerkraut well.  Pat dry with paper towels even.  The sauerkraut balls may be a little squishy inside if you don’t.
In a large bowl, mix together sausage, sauerkraut, 2 Tbls bread crumbs, parsley, mustard, garlic salt, and pepper.  Cut cream cheese into small pieces and mix well with sausage mixture. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 3 hours to overnight.

Mix ingredients together

Remove from refrigerator when ready to cook. 
Place 1/3 to ½ cup bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Beat 2 eggs with water and place in a
second shallow dish and place flour in a third shallow dish.
Using 2 Tbls, roll the chilled sausage mixture into balls.

Roll balls in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs

Dredge sausage balls one at a time in flour then egg and then the bread crumbs. 
Pour oil into deep skillet to 3 inches deep.  Cook sauerkraut ball in hot oil until browned, about 2 minutes.

Deep fry until golden brown

Transfer to paper towels to drain then place on a baking sheet and keep in a 275 degrees oven until all are cooked. 

Place balls on a cookie sheet and keep in 275 degree oven

Serve warm but not hot.
Serve with your favorite cheesy sauce, Dijon or spicy brown mustard.

I eat mine with spicy German mustard but my son Daniel likes them with cheesy sauce

"Here's to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty lover and an honest one.
A cold pint-- and another one!"



Anonymous said...

Sauerkraut balls? Never heard of them but clicked on your blog to see what they were, now saved as a favorite, I love your web site!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Their delicious I can tell you!

Anonymous said...

Love sauerkraut balls although my recipe is a little different than Hey Hey bars. Brenda Pedigo

Anonymous said...

That's it. I'm coming to live with you!! Marie Smith

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Marie, just read your comment and it made me laugh and choke on my coffee, haha

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

I made approximately 36 sauerkraut balls ( about 1 1/2 tablespoons big each). My son Daniel and a couple of his friends finished them off almost before my hubby Bill and I got any!

Anonymous said...

I bet!! Especially the HeyHey Bar recipe. Omg. Those are the best! Marie Smith