Bratwurst and Sauerkraut with Spicy Mustard
Sauerkraut and mustard are two very traditional accompaniments to a good wurst. Bratwurst is readily available in the United States, but feel free to use any wurst you choose. To learn more about the various types of wurst, be sure to check out my article called The Best of the Wurst, an introduction to German Sausages.
Sauerkraut is eaten throughout much of the world, although it is most commonly associated with Germany and eastern Europe. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. The fermentation occurs naturally, and it is fairly easy to make your own, although it is a time consuming process.
Like yogurt, fresh, unpasteurized sauerkraut contains many beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion. As well, it also contains high levels of Vitamin C. As a matter of fact, German sailors always had sauerkraut at hand on their ships to help prevent scurvy!
When using purchased sauerkraut, try to find a fresh, unpasteurized type, as pasteurization kills the beneficial bacteria and breaks down Vitamin C.
Bratwurst with Sauerkraut & Mustard Recipe
For the Brats
2 dark beers
1 large onion, sliced
1 pound fresh sauerkraut
4 Pretzel rolls, hoagie rolls or other long buns
Spicy mustard (recipe follows)
For the Mustard
½ cup flat beer (you can use water)
1/3 cup whole mustard seeds
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons dry mustard powder (such as Coleman's)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1-2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (optional)
(Mustard must ripen in the fridge for 3 days)
How To Prepare At Home
For the Brats
In a saucepan, bring beer and onion to a simmer. Pierce bratwurst casings with a sharp knife. Place brats in the simmering beer, turn down the heat to just below a simmer, and let brats poach for about 6 minutes.
Over medium coals, grill brats until they have good color, turning so they are evenly browned about 1 minute per turn.
If not serving right away, return the cooked brats to the beer/onion mixture to keep hot.
Split rolls almost all the way through. Place, cut side down, on the grill just to get some grill marks.
Gently warm the sauerkraut over medium-low heat. Don't let it boil, you just want to warm it through.
Spread spicy mustard to taste in each bun. Top with a brat and then some warm sauerkraut. Finish with more mustard, if desired.
For the Mustard
Combine beer and whole mustard seeds. Let sit for one or two hours.
Put soaked seeds and any remaining beer or water into the work bowl of your food processor. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Process for 30 seconds-4 minutes or so, depending on your texture preference. The longer you process, the smoother your mustard will be.
After processing, put the mustard in a small saucepan. Let it sit for an hour, then bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute.
Remove from the heat and cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate for three days to ripen. Mustard will thicken. After three days, adjust the consistency with another teaspoon or two of water or cider vinegar.
Well covered, the mustard will keep for three weeks in the refrigerator.
Makes about 1 ½ cups of mustard.
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