We had several types of sausages during our time in Europe, but bratwurst was one that we had several times. Unlike here in the United States, bratwurst is not served on a bun unless you are getting it at a festival or market, but we enjoy the convenience of eating them on a bun. To try and replicate the experience of eating bratwursts in Germany, we decided to braise our bratwurst in a German pilsner and make our own sauerkraut. Just like cooking with wine, if you are going to braise your bratwurst in beer, be sure to choose one that you like and would drink on its own. Making sauerkraut was surprisingly simple, but if we do it again in the future, we would probably put it in a slow-cooker and cook it even longer than we did for this recipe. We did go to a local butcher to get a high quality bratwurst as that is an important feature of the bratwursts that we ate overseas. Due to the weather, we broiled our bratwurst, but grilling them would certainly be the best. It turned out to be quite simple and delicious.
- 4 Bratwurst
- 2 Bottles of Beer (German Pilsner)
- 3/4 Large White Onion – diced
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 Head of Cabbage – small, cored and shredded
- 1/2 tsp Celery Seed
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- Ground Pepper to taste
Combine the water, vinegar, 2/3 of the diced onion (which is half of the onion diced), cabbage, 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, celery seed, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and black pepper in a large saucepan and turn the heat on high. Mix the cabbage until the seasonings are evenly distributed and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer, stirring frequently, for 30 to 45 minutes and the cabbage is tender. In a medium saucepan, combine the beer and onions and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the bratwurst, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and pepper, be sure that the bratwurst are completely covered with liquid. Simmer the bratwurst for 10 to 15 minutes to allow them to absorb the flavor. Grill or broil the bratwurst for about 5 minutes per side and the skin is evenly browned. Serve on buns with Dijon or spicy brown mustard and sauerkraut.