Bratwurst Cooked in Beer, with Apple Sauerkraut
- 8 links bratwurst sausage
- 2 cups julienned red onions
- 4 (8-ounce) bottles dark beer
- 6 ounces bacon, chopped
- 2 cups julienned yellow onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 large red or golden delicious apples, cored and cubed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
- 2 pounds sauerkraut, rinsed well under cold running water and drained
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Buns or Rolls, accompaniment
- Assorted Mustards, accompaniment
- Lots of cold beer, accompaniment
With a sharp knife or kitchen fork, prick each sausage several times. In a saucepan, combine the red onions and beer and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the sausages and poach until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausages from the liquid and set aside, reserving the liquid.
In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the yellow onions to the fat in the pan and cook, stirring, until very soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the apples and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, and juniper berries and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the sauerkraut and reserved beer cooking liquid (without the onions), sugar, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until tender and aromatic, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the sauerkraut from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the cooked bacon and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Arrange the sauerkraut on the platter with the sausages and serve, if desired, with rolls and mustard. Serve with cold beer.