Those of you who regularly visit JBug's Kitchen know by now that I tend to tell it like it is. I'm the first to criticize something I've concocted and constantly looking for ways to improve a recipe to achieve better results. Seldom can I admit that something's the "best". Well, not this time.
This is absolutely the BEST sauerkraut dish I've ever made. It's better than chocolate, almost better than caramel and head and shoulders above any other sauerkraut laden bratwurst dishes you'll find on this blog. It gives a whole new slant to the prepared sauerkraut you'll find in a jar on your grocery store's shelves and in fact is so darned delicious it has driven me to add a section to the index called "JBug's Favorites". How about that?
Check out the recipe, make your list and head out to your closest market post haste. Trust me. You won't be sorry in the least.
Bratwursts and Sauerkraut (from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from Cast Iron Cooking by Joanna Pruess)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 slices thick sliced bacon, cut into cubes
2 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
12 ounces beer
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
10 juniper berries, bruised
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
Salt and coarse ground black pepper
1 large jar sauerkraut, drained, rinsed and squeezed dry (I used Libby’s Crispy)
Coarse grained mustard (I used Trader Joe’s coarse grained Dijon)
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add bacon and oil and cook until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add onions. Reduce heat to low, partially cover pot and cook until onions soften and start to turn golden brown – approx... 15 minutes. Add beer, apple, juniper berries, bay leaves, brown sugar, caraway seeds and sauerkraut. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Add approximately a half teaspoon of salt and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. Cover; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove cover, add bacon and discard bay leaves.
Meanwhile, prick sausages in several places with a fork and cook in a sauté pan sprayed with cooking spray for approximately 10 minutes or until browned on all sides and no longer pink inside. Serve on sauerkraut with coarse grained mustard. Makes 4 to 6 servings.