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german sauerkraut & bratwurst & bacon onion potatoes

(13 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Terrie Hoelscher
Harpers Ferry, WV

This is authentic! I lived in Germany for 3+ years. This is the way my German neighbor taught me to make delicious sauerkraut. It takes a bit more time than just opening up a briny can of kraut and heating through 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!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

This German sauerkraut and bratwurst with bacon, onion, and potatoes is a fantastic traditional German meal. If you've had German food at an American restaurant, this is different than what you're used to. This is like no sauerkraut we've had before. Cooking sauerkraut with onions and sweet apples is a lovely contrast in flavors. There's a slight brine left that blends with the brown sugar, apples, and tangy beer. The brats are brown and crisp outside, soft and juicy inside. Once cooked in bacon, onions, and a sweet and tangy balsamic vinaigrette, they're slightly caramelized and delicious. Combine all the elements when serving and this is a wonderful German meal.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(13 ratings)
yield 6 serving(s)
prep time 20 Min
cook time 1 Hr
method Stove Top

Ingredients For german sauerkraut & bratwurst & bacon onion potatoes

  • 3 Tbsp
  • 1 md
    Granny Smith apple
  • 1 sm
    onion, slivered
  • 2 c
    cold-pack sauerkraut (good quality, not canned)
  • 1/4 c
    light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c
    light brown beer
  • 1/8 tsp
    black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp
    caraway seed, optional
  • 6
    good quality bratwurst
  • 1 1/2 c
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 3 slice
    bacon or 2 Tbsp of real bacon bits
  • 1/4 c
    onions, diced or slivered
  • 1/2 c
    balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • 4 sm
    red potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 3 Tbsp
    brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp
    seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp
    black pepper

How To Make german sauerkraut & bratwurst & bacon onion potatoes

  • Brown apples and onions in melted butter.
    Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a large skillet. Over medium heat, brown the apples and onions in the melted butter until they are nicely caramelized and tender. Stir constantly.
  • Add sauerkraut and brown sugar to apples and onions.
    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.
  • Add beer and seasonings to sauerkraut.
    Turn to LOW, add the beer, black pepper, and caraway seed. Cover. Cook the 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.
  • Removing sauerkraut from the heat.
    When it's browned to your satisfaction, slide it off the heat and let it sit.
  • Browning bratwurst in melted butter and water.
    About 1/2 hour before you want to eat, prepare the bratwurst. In a large skillet, place the bratwurst, water, and 2 Tbsp of butter. Bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 10 - 12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the water evaporates and the bratwurst begins to brown.
  • Continuing to brown the bratwurst.
    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.
  • Frying slices of bacon.
    While the 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.
  • Bacon pieces, onions, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing in a pan.
    Pour off most of the bacon grease, but do not wipe out the pan. Place bacon pieces, onions, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing in the pan. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized.
  • Sliced potatoes and remaining ingredients added.
    Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer on LOW until potatoes are cooked through approximately 25 minutes.
  • Slowly cooking until potatoes are soft.
    Keep covered so they won't cook dry. You can add a splash of beer if necessary, 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 a while to let flavors blend OR serve separately.
  • Bratwurst, sauerkraut, and bacon onion potatoes on a plate.
    Serve with dark brown bread and butter, some applesauce, and dark brown mustard. A real authentic German meal, as prepared in the Hessen style.