Cozy German Fare | Sausage, Cabbage, Apple + Beer Skillet
The past few days here in San Diego have been really gray and overcast, yet have delivered no actual rainy relief. It's felt downright inclement, so I rejoiced when this recipe appeared in my inbox like an angel from the sky.
This is basically a bratwurst/kielbasa-sausage-and-cabbage skillet, sauteed in a good pilsner and lightened up with green apples instead of potatoes. You can make it with any sausage though, including your own natural game sausage.
My favorite part of cooking with wine or beer is drinking that wine or beer while cooking. No! It's the aroma of the spices and meats coalescing on a chilly late afternoon, while the sun sets outside (earlier these days since Daylight Savings Time).
We're a major lager-loving house here so you'll pretty much just find Stella Artois, Heineken, Red Stripe, Coors, Modelo, and Corona here, so I had to do some reading to find a good pilsner. Beer Advocate names their favorite pilsners (judged by taste) here, and Men's Journal names their "20 Best Pilsners in the World" here. Bloomberg lists Eight Great Pilsners to Try here, but being in craft-beer-loving San Diego, I'm always going to go local.
One of my favorite local beer spots is Brothers Provisions in Rancho Bernardo. Great food including savory charcuterie platters and other specialties. Just watch your intake or you'll end up like Ginger!
Another favorite beer spot - also in Rancho Bernardo - is Urge Gastropub. We've had a lot of good times there over great beers, especially around Oktoberfest.
a Tablespoon of olive oil
a pound of sausage: pork bratwurst or turkey kielbasa, cut into medium bite sizes
1 diced white or yellow onion
½ teaspoon salt
1 green apple, cored + diced
½ teaspoon caraway seeds. Use anise as a substitute, or fennel if desperate
½ teaspoon thyme
½ head of green cabbage, shredded
½ cup pilsner or hefewiezen-type beer
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
crusty bread + grainy or Dijon mustard
Start with your sausage for this recipe, and brown it up good in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium to medium-high heat after warming your oil first. I used a cast-iron Staub but you can use any large pan that can handle heat and lots of sausage bits. When done, remove the sausage from the heat and set aside.
I probably slightly overdid it on the sausage. It shouldn't be this dark, but it tasted great anyway.
Next, reduce the heat to medium or just under. Add the onions and salt and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Once the onions have caramelized a bit (about 5 minutes), add the apples, caraway and thyme, and stir well to combine. Let them sauté for another few minutes. Then add the cabbage and stir well.
After the cabbage has cooked down to your liking, add the beer to deglaze, and cook for a few more minutes until the sauce is reduced.
Add the apple cider vinegar and sausages back to the pan, and sauté for another minute. Serve with the bread and - trust me on this - a large spoonful of the mustard. My husband said that mustard made the dish!
Enjoy! and thanks for looking.