Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sausage & Sauerkraut With Beer

Sausage and sauerkraut are made for each other and the Chef will use any excuse to cook with beer. And you can be sure there will be no leftovers with this recipe! All the ingredients are cheap, the way The Chef likes it.

This dish is traditionally made with bratwurst - I substitute inexpensive Polish sausage from this 99c only Store - they always stock it. Of course, my readers living high-on-the-hog can use any gourmet hand-crafted sausage they like! As for sauerkraut, it is one cheap canned/jar veggie.

Other budget ingredients include one onion, one apple and a 24 oz. can of beer, bought on sale from my local liquor store - only 12 ounces are needed so the leftover elixir will sustain the Chef through the duration of cooking.

Sauteed onion with the addition of an apple brings sour sauerkraut into a sweeter flavor profile. One last ingredient is a couple slices of browned bacon -- and you know how everything is good with bacon.

I first had sauerkraut on a hotdog, but learned more complex versions when I filmed in Hollywood and lunched on Melrose Avenue, just past the Paramount Studios lot, at a German Hofbrau restaurant (long gone, but not forgotten). One of the attractions was the constant hiring of fresh-faced frauleins from Germany who worked as waitresses.

I'm not sure why, but they were usually quite curt and no-nonsense, although always cute in their Hofbrau-style frocks, snaking through tables laden with trays of smoked pork chops, bratwurst, German potatoes, sauerkraut and decorative steins of frothy pilsener. The lads in the film-crew loved this place. Frauleins and steins, Prost!

I has always had a fondness for German culture including: German Expressionist art, the tragi/comedy musicals of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, and the cinema of Rainer Werner Fassbinder -- a difficult artist and not everyone's cup-of-tea, or stein-of-beer.

The Chef's Sausage & Sauerkraut With Beer is a slow-cooked hearty entree you can hoist a foamy filled stein of hefeweizen to. Guten Appetit!

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1 lb. sausage - your favorite
  • 1 12 oz. can of beer - light or dark - photo shows 24 oz., half went into marinating the Chef.
  • 1 whole apple - cored and sliced
  • 1 whole sliced onion - red, white, or yellow
  • 14 oz. sauerkraut, drained - sauerkraut is so tasty prepared this way that you may want to add an extra can.
  • 3 slices of bacon - optional
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pepper to taste - bacon and sauerkraut has plenty of salt.

Brown bacon and sausage together about 10 minutes in a large pan or pot. Add sliced onion and cook to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add 12 ounces of beer and deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Drain sauerkraut and add to sausage and onions. Lastly, core and slice one apple, mixing into sauerkraut.

Cover and cook for about one hour over low heat. Check and add beer, water or stock a half cup at a time, if liquid evaporates.

The song "The Ballad of Mack the Knife" is sung by Louis Armstrong.
Lyrics & Music by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill from the play "Three Penny Opera".

Movie clip from "Lola" by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.


Dinahsoar said...

Another must try recipe..made the Turkey and Black Bean Chili over the weekend..delicious! I spiced it up..extra chili powder, some ground coriander, a little garam masala, lots of hot sauce and a tsp. of sugar for the acidity in the tomatoes. Husband loved it too.

It made 2 meals for us. First night we ate it with the extras you mentioned, plus a half baked sweet potato as a side.

The next night, we ate the reheated chili over a small baked white potato plus the toppings--sour cream, onion, grated cheddar. A bowlful of goodness.

It was oh so good and is my new go to chili recipe. Using ground turkey is a big dollar saver and in your recipe it is foolproof.

99 Cent Chef said...

Hi Dinah, glad you & hubby liked the 99c turkey chili recipe ;-)

Rochelle R. said...

I usually make Polish & kraut with broth. I will have to try it with beer next time. I bet it really adds a lot of extra flavor. I have bought the 99 cent store Polish but the texture is really hot dog like. But then again it is only 99 cents :)

99 Cent Chef said...

Hi Rochelle, my recipe is good with your favorite sausage & broth is a good variation.

Charlotte Prescott said...

How can you possibly argue with a recipe that also calls for marinating the chef? This looks like a winner!

Legman said...

Chef: please tell us where you score Miller 24oz at 99cents a pop in LA. Rite Aid on Western has raised them to $1.89

99 Cent Chef said...

My local liquor store on 4273 Overland, just South of Sony Studios, Culver City, has 99c Miller 24 ouncers most of the time.

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