Bratwurst does double duty as sit-down-dinner fare and BBQ favorite.
I'll start with how to cook Bratwurst on the stove, with Apple Sauerkraut, for your
dinner guests. This is definitely a less edgy sauerkraut, tempered a little by
apples, cider, cooked onions and other goodies. Just add buns and a grill to
make 'Brats' for the gang.
This recipe calls for chicken or vegetable broth, which can be very salty. I recommend low-sodium broth. Either way, don't add any salt until you've taste-tested it at the end.
12 ounces beer or apple cider
Toothpick or skewer and 1-gallon sealable plastic bag
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
2 medium onions, peeled, halved and thin-sliced
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 pounds sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup apple cider
Salt and pepper to taste
8 hot dog buns, optional
Pierce the bratwursts in several places with a toothpick or skewer; this will help them to absorb the marinade and keep them from exploding when cooked. Place the brats in the plastic bag with the beer or apple cider, seal and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 6 hours or more; overnight is okay.
Drain the bratwursts. Melt half the butter in a large skillet. Stir in the pepper and sage. If you're going to grill the brats, brush with a little of the sage-butter and set them aside. If you're pan-cooking them, brown them in the sage-butter over medium heat on all sides, remove and set aside.
Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the onions, carrots and apples, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sauerkraut.
Pour the broth and apple cider into the skillet, stir and turn the heat up. When the broth begins to simmer, either send the bratwursts to the grill (7-10 minutes per side on medium-high heat) or arrange them evenly in the sauerkraut pan, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid evaporates, 20 to 30 minutes.
And that is how to cook bratwurst. To serve, whether you have pan-cooked or grilled the brats, transfer the Apple Sauerkraut to a platter and top with the bratwursts. Serve as is or serve the brats in warm buns topped with the sauerkraut. And mustard. Makes 8 servings.