German Sauerkraut & Bratwurst & Bacon Onion Potatoes
This is authentic! I lived in Germany for 3+ years, and this is the way my German neighbor taught me to make delicious sauerkraut. Takes a bit more time than just opening up a briny can of kraut and heating thru on the stove ... but it is SO worth it. Add some nicely browned Bratwurst, some applesauce (Apfelmousse), some fries (Pommes Frites), some brown bread (Graubrot or Schwarzbrot)... and you have a great meal, as prepared in the style of the Hessen region of Germany!
granny smith apple
cold-pack sauerkraut - good quality, not canned
caraway seed, optional
bacon, or 2 tbsp. of real bacon bits
onions, diced or slivered
potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
Melt 3 T. butter in large skillet. Over medium heat, brown the apples and onions in the melted butter, until they are nicely caramelized and tender, stirring constantly.
Put WELL-RINSED AND DRAINED sauerkraut in the pan with the apples and onions. Sprinkle the brown sugar over all, and toss well in the browned butter that's in the pan.Turn to LOW, add the beer, black pepper and [optional] caraway seed. Cover. Cook the sauerkraut/apple/onion/brown sugar/beer mixture over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until it's caramelized and a nice, golden brown color. I have actually let mine cook for as much as a couple of hours, on VERY LOW heat. Stir occasionally, to bring the browned stuff up from the bottom and give the rest of it a chance to brown. Don't let it burn, but a very slight scorch is a good thing. When it's browned to your satisfaction, slide it off the heat,and let it sit.
ABout 1/2 hour before you want to eat, prepare the bratwurst:
In a large skillet, place the bratwurst, water, and 2 T. of butter. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to med., and cook 10 - 12 minutes, turning occasionally, until water evaporates and bratwurst begin to brown. The water will cook the brats through, and then all boil out, but the butter will cling to the brat skins, and brown them nicely. Turn, as needed, to keep them from burning on one side.
While brats are simmering/browning, do the Bacon Onion Potatoes: preheat a large saute' pan on medium, 2 - 3 minutes. Cook the bacon until crispy, and chop it into small pieces. Pour off most of bacon grease, but do not wipe out pan. Place bacon pieces, onions and vinaigrette in pan and cook 5 - 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer on LOW until potatoes are cooked through, approx. 25 minutes. Keep covered so the won't cook dry. You can add a splash of beer, if necessary, and if desired, to keep potatoes moist and to "steam" cook them. Stir occasionally, gently, to keep from breaking potatoes apart.
IF YOU DESIRE: after the brats are nicely browned, you can put them IN with the kraut, and smother them together for awhile, to let flavors blend, OR serve separately.
Serve with dark brown bread and butter, some applesauce, and dark brown mustard. A real authentic German meal, as prepared in the Hessen style.
The photos are mine, just as I made it two nights ago. It was fabulous!