Adventures in Eating: Sausage and Sauerkraut Nebraska
by Rosemarie | November 1983
“Without sausage, without bacon, purpose in life is forsaken” goes an old German saying. It is thought the Babylonians enjoyed sausage more than 3,500 years ago and the ancient Chinese also made sausage. Homer in his Odyssey written in the 19th Century B.C. mentioned it was so popular during the wild festivals in Rome that as the Christian era began, sausage was banned along with the festivals. Wow! Heady food.
With the festival of Christmas coming towards us, I wanted to share this recipe made with sauerkraut and sausage that I brought back from Lincoln, Nebraska, after visiting our first grandchild, a boy. The last recipe I shared with you that came from Lincoln, also had sauerkraut in it. The secret to giving this form of cabbage pickle softness and still a little zest, is to rinse and drain it thoroughly.
Holiday time finds all of us busy, yet we long for more than the Colonel’s chicken. Sausage can be a welcome change in your diet, plus a festive party dish for friends or family. From Lincoln comes:
SAUSAGE AND SAUERKRAUT NEBRASKA
6 slices of bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 32-oz sauerkraut, rinsed and drained (I use Libbys)
2 potatoes, peeled & sliced
1 cup water
½ cup apple nectar
2 T brown sugar
1 t instant chicken bullion
1 t caraway seed granules
1 Bay leaf
1 large apple, cored & sliced
1 lb bratwurst (6 or 7 links) (or mix two or three kinds of German sausage)
2 t prepared mustard
In a large skillet cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Crumble and set aside. Reserve 2 T drippings in skillet. Cook onion and garlic in reserved drippings over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sauerkraut, potatoes, water, apple nectar, brown sugar, bullion granules, caraway seed, bay leaf, and mustard. Add up to ½ cup more water, if necessary, to cover potatoes. Bring to boiling. Score sausages, add to sauerkraut mixture and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 to 14 hours or until potatoes are just tender, stirring occasionally. Add the sliced apples and cook just until tender (5-10 min.). Remove bay leaf and top with crumbled bacon. 5-6 servings. Serve with rye bread and fresh butter. Top it off with a streusel topped apple pie and a dolop of whipped cream.