Every fall, we celebrate our own Oktoberfest at home with Grilled Bratwursts. It's not a raucous beer-guzzling event with sausages flying, girls in native costume, and dancing traditional dances, but it is usually a rather sedate, peaceful meal shared with friends. Not at all what you would expect from a typical Oktoberfest gala! Since we moved into this neighborhood, we have invited Glenn and Lori over to share the meal with us. I told you about last year's celebration in this ever-so-wordy post and even shared the recipe there, too!
This year, October seemed to fill up really quickly for us and I have felt like I've been running to keep up with everything that is going on. I purchased the Brats for the meal, but ended up putting them in the freezer before I could get them grilled up! So the day after Halloween, this past Sunday, even though it was no longer October, I thought that would be a cozy meal to make. And if I invited Glenn and Lori over, I knew she would be grateful since she had hosted the unofficial Neighborhood Halloween Party the night before.
Boy, do they go all out for that party! They even do a Haunted House in their upstairs hallway for the kids to go through. And they have food galore, homemade root beer and costumes, and movies in the playhouse for the kids. So much fun!
The recipe I use for Brats and Sauerkraut comes from one I watched Emeril make a few years ago. Frankly, I don't really like watching him, but this recipe is fantastic! My German mother-in-law even loved the kraut when I made it once when they were visiting. You'll need red AND yellow onions and apples. Apples may not seem like a normal ingredient in kraut, but trust me, you'll be happy you used them in this one!
You'll also need juniper berries. Terribly strange ingredient. You can usually find them in the spice aisle, but I buy them in the bulk section of my grocery store, so be sure to check there. If you absolutely can't find them, I'm sure you could leave them out without sacrificing too much flavor. One ingredient you CAN'T do without is the beer! DARK beer.
This IS a German dish after all. Germans + beer = synonymous. If you have wheat allergies or gluten intolerances, you can even find gluten-free beer so that you can still enjoy this dish with all the flavor that is intended. It's about the flavor!
The brats get simmered in the beer and red onions first, and grilled later.
The kraut gets rinsed, put in a pot with apples and onions and spices.
It all simmers for a while, getting all happy in the pot, then you should serve it up German-style with plenty of bread and mustard to go around.
I was right … Lori was grateful to have dinner cooked for her the night after the Halloween party! We all enjoyed the meal, even the little people. We were especially happy that even though it was a spontaneous invitation and quite a casual meal, it was still cozy, filling, and satisfying. The company helps, too!
Please enjoy these brats any time of year … doesn't have to Oktober!
And this year? Well, this year, there's a downloadable recipe for you!