Recently a friend said, “I hate sauerkraut!” That is so sad. I, however, love sauerkraut! I do. Traditional German sauerkraut has a bite from the acid, some sourness and is traditionally crunchy. I typically could eat sauerkraut on it’s own with mustard. Oh yeah, now that’s the stuff! Today I’m making a new version of cooked sauerkraut. This recipe is for those who don’t have a lot of time to make homemade from cabbage (which takes about 3-5 weeks to ferment) and who don’t want a traditional Weinkraut (which is made with apples and caraway seeds or juniper berries). I made this recipe up since I have to admit I don’t like caraway seeds or juniper berries. My mother is probably sighing from heaven right now.
I am going to add bratwurst and knockwurst into my recipe. I think the slowed cooked sausage adds flavor to the sauerkraut and gives it another note. Also, instead of using dry white wine to give it an upscale touch, I am adding dark beer. I am sure my mother would be somewhat pleased that I experimented with her recipe, as she was always creative in the kitchen.
Enjoy and until next time happy creating.
Bratwurst and Knockwurst with Sauerkraut
Servings: 4 servings at 2 sausages each
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 red onion, sliced
3 (12 ounces) bottles dark beer
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced and rings separated
1 bay leaf
3⁄4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces sauerkraut, rinsed
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
Pierce the skin of the bratwurst and knockwurst a few times on 2 sides. In a large pot add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the sausages and brown on all sides. Combine with the sausages, red onions and beer. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove sausages to a platter. Throw out red onions and reserve cooking liquid in a bowl.
In same pot, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the yellow onions. Cook until onions are soft and slightly brown, about 5 minutes. In the meantime, place bay leaf and peppercorns in a cheesecloth and secure the ends. When onions are soft, add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the cheesecloth (with bay leaf and peppercorns in it), sausages, reserved cooking liquid, sauerkraut, apple juice, brown sugar, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower and simmer uncovered for 1 1⁄4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Take off heat and discard cheesecloth. Serve.