Have you ever planned an entire meal around a condiment? Sometimes I’ll crave ketchup, for example, and then I’m left looking for a food vessel to eat it on (I wouldn’t just sit down with a bottle of ketchup and a spoon…now that would be weird ;) ). (In case you’re wondering, my ketchup cravings are usually satiated with scrambled eggs…yes, I eat ketchup on scrambled eggs, lol. But never on eggs with runny yolk.) The other day I was at a grocery store – not my normal grocery store, mind you…and you know how much fun it is to look around at new grocery stores – perusing the aisles, when I happened upon the cutest little jar of German mustard. And nothing goes better with medium-hot mustard than sausages. And nothing goes better with sausages than sauerkraut when you have German cuisine (for Regional Recipes) on your mind.
Al Fresco’s Apple-Maple Chicken Sausages…Pork-Free, Gluten-Free, All-Natural, and Pretty Delicious…And I Promise I Don’t Work For Al Fresco ;)
A Note on the Sausages I Used: If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know that Mike and I don’t eat pork. For this dish, I wanted to use chicken sausage with apple (since I was planning to make apple-kraut) and I had no idea if there even was such a product (we generally don’t eat a lot of sausage), but at the store I was thrilled to find Al Fresco’s Apple-Maple Chicken Sausage. Not only is it a great blend of sweet and savory flavors, but being a breakfast sausage, its small shape and size is reminiscent of the more traditional Nuremberg sausages. Of course, you can use any sausage you like or have on hand.
(Yield: 2-4 servings, depending on how hungry you are)
2 TB canola oil, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 lb sauerkraut, rinsed and drained (to remove excess salt)
2 TB organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
2-4 TB brown sugar, lightly packed (more or less to taste)
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 tsp ground marjoram
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced
8 oz sausage (I used Al Fresco’s Apple-Maple Chicken Sausage)
Fresh minced parsley (for garnish)
Pumpernickel or sourdough bread (for serving)
Medium-hot mustard (for serving)
In a 3-quart pot with a lid, heat 1 TB oil over medium heat; add the onion and sauté until it’s starting to soften (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the rinsed and drained sauerkraut, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, caraway seeds, marjoram, and 3/4 c water. Cook over medium heat uncovered for 10 minutes; add the apple, cover the pot, and cook another 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone and the apple is tender.
In a medium skillet with a lid, heat the remaining 1 TB oil over medium-high heat; add the sausages, then pour in enough water to come about halfway up the sausages. Put the lid on but leave it ajar so the water can evaporate; cook the sausages about 7-10 minutes, until the water is gone and they’re golden brown; give the pan a gentle shake every couple minutes to turn the sausages.
Serve the sausages and sauerkraut garnished with fresh minced parsley, alongside pumpernickel or sourdough bread and plenty of medium-hot mustard.