Monday, October 22, 2012

A German Feast- Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

My sweetie, the beer guy, loves German food. It makes sense; the strong and rich flavors of beer, bread, sauerkraut, and pickles were born together. Fermentation is a wonderful thing, and paired with a delicious emulsified sausage sausage which has been perfectly poached in beer and then lightly caramelized, all of those fermented food become something truly inspired.

I was a vegetarian when I was little. In many ways it was a blessing. I'm just going to ignore the reasons most people use: it is humane, it is better for the environment, it is better for your health. The reason that I think being raised a vegetarian is a blessing is because I learned about spices and clean flavors. I find that many people rely heavily on animal fat in order to impart flavor to their food. If you disagree then just look at bacon. It is in EVERYTHING!

Anyhoo, that being said.  I'm trying to learn how to cook meat. My mom never learned, so it truly is up to me. So, of course, I started with the least common, and arguably most difficult, meat to make.

I made sausage! It's my new experiment. I got an excellent book called Charcuterie, it is by Michael Ruhlman, Brian Polcyn, and Thomas Keller. It is an amazing book! I have been having a lot of fun making things from it.

This book gave me the recipe for my bratwurst. It was a trying experience though. Sweetie and I got an old fashioned horn-style sausage stuffer. It was awful! I ended up returning it. The meat would not go through. My sweetie ended up standing on the counter sitting on the handle. We're going for a different approach next time.

The bratwurst came out great though. I ended up freezing it immediately for later use. For dinner I poached it in some beer. After it reached the correct internal temperature, I took it out and sauteed it lightly in order to caramelize the outside.

We ate it with potatoes that Adam made. He cooked some small pieces of bacon and sauteed the potatoes in the fat. We also ate it with my homemade sauerkraut. 

Talk about something that is easy to make. You basically pour a light brine over shredded cabbage and then wait. It turned out crunchy and sour. After it had fermented to my liking,  I took the cabbage out of the brine and replaced it with wine. White for the green cabbage, and red for the purple. 

Well , all of that turned into delicious dinner. 

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