This dish has been handed down from generation to generation. I am sure it even stems back to generations of my family that I have traced back to the mid 1800's in Maryland. Sauerkraut is a dish that has become a tradition to be on the table for the Thanksgiving and Christmas in Baltimore, Maryland even in the Black Marylanders. It's influence comes from the German immigrants that was large part of the population in the 1870's. Because we were the hands that prepared the meals throughout, we developed our own take on it. It started with adding smoked pig tails, neckbones or other smoked pig parts. Over time smoked turkey meats and parts were substituted. I remember my great-grandmother, grandmother and mom making this dish every holiday to go on the table along with the other side dishes. I am know carrying on this tradition and passing it to my son and granddaughter.
Melt butter or heat oil in a large heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.
Add sliced onions. Cook onions for 3 - 4 minutes. Stir onions until softened and slightly caramelized.
Add smoked meat and stir with onions. Add caraway seed, sage, garlic powder and creole seasoning and heat. Mix well. Will have bits stick to pan. Pour in water or stock and deglaze the pan.
Once deglazed add in sauerkraut, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium of medium - low. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Sauerkraut will brown in color and flavor will be more mellow. Adjust seasonings to taste.