Brat recipe help needed

Note: Ruby needs to stop watching the Food Network. She’s suffering from delusions of grandeur.

While at the store today, I decided to be creative and bought brats, apples, onions, and apple juice to make dinner tonight. Now that I’m home, I’m at a loss as to how to prepare this stuff.

My thought was to have like carmelized onions and apples or some kind of apple/onion sauce to serve over the cooked brats.

So, what order do I do this? Do I cook the apples and onions first, then add the brats and apple juice? Will that make the apples and onions mushy? Do I cook them separately?


Yeah, the apples will get mushy if you overcook them.

I’d cook the brats separate - either in a pan, or grill 'em, or whatever you like. Then I’d do the onions and apples in a skillet, with butter. Put the onions in first, get them almost done, then add peeled, sliced apples. They cook pretty fast, so watch 'em or you’ll end up with onion-flavored applesauce (which wouldn’t necessarily be a disaster!)

Apple juice. Hmm. It’s gonna be REALLY sweet if you use a lot of it. I’d tend to put a splash of it in with the apple/onions, and also something else - white wine, beer, chicken stock, whatever you might have. And maybe a little bit of apple cider vinegar for a some kick. When you get it the way you like it, add the brats back to the pan, let 'em heat up, and serve.

Here’s how I do it:

Slice apples and onions. Melt butter and oil (yes, both, because you’re working at a fairly high temp) over medium high heat. Toss in the apples and onions and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions are translucent with just a hint of browned edges on some of the pieces. Throw the brats in. Add some juice and some water or cheap light colored beer to come about halfway up the brats. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Walk away for 20 minutes or so.

Yes, the apples and onions will be soft. If you don’t want 'em soft, then add them later after the brats have been simmering for a few minutes in the juice/beer/water.

Here is what I would do:

Chop up your apples and onions (and some sage, 1/2tbs, if handy).

Put a tab of butter and a cup of apple juice in a skillet. Get it up to a hard simmer. Put the brats in and flip every so often (every 2-3 minutes, about 8 total minutes) until they cook through (and the apple juice has reduced). Pull the brats out and slice them into discs. Put the brats back in the pan with the onions and apples. Cook it all together until the onions and apples are at desired done-ness. The apple juice and butter (and fat from the brats) should have reduced to a good gooey sauce. And the edges of the brats should have crisped. Mmmmm! Add more apple juice throughout the process if needed. Toss in sage during the last minute of cooking. Serve with a cold kolsch.

Well, here’s what I did. Couple of screw ups but overall a success…

  1. I sauteed the apples and onions separately. I also left the peels on the apple to help them hold their shape.
  2. I didn’t read llcoolbj77’s post properly and tried to slice the brats before they were cooked. It worked but it could have been better.
  3. I browned the brats in a separate pan and once nicely browned, I added the apple juice and chicken stock to loosen up all of those yummy brown bits.
  4. I added the apples/onions to the brats and more apple juice and chicken stock and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

Voila! Success!

Before and After

Thank you all! <whew> :slight_smile:

Next time, get a head of that lonely red cabbage that nobody seems to use in the produce aisle- shred it, and prepare/braise it with the apples, onions, apple juice, and a bit of an acidic component (vinegar or lemon juice) much like you already did… and voila Bratwurst mit Rotkohl.

Mmmm, I like red cabbage! Good idea! :slight_smile:

Another recipe that’s similar to this one is kielbasa and kraut. I use fully-cooked polish sausage/kielbasa, but just about any smoked sausage would work. Or unsmoked, though it would be a different flavor.

So for one package sausage, I use a package of saurkraut, a medium onion, and a couple of carrots. Drain and rinse the kraut. Grate the carrots. Slice the onion into rings or strips or whatever (it doesn’t have to be chopped small). Saute onion in some oil, when they start to get soft, add the carrots. Saute for a minute, add the kraut and some white wine or beer or chicken stock, just enough to come about halfway up the pan. Throw in some caraway seeds if you like. Nestle the sausages in the pan, cover, cook for 30-40 minutes until all the flavors meld.

Serve over mashed potatoes, or (even better) a mix of mashed potatoes and other root veggies - turnips/parsnips/whatever you have.

Really, really good. Now I want some!