If you’ve never had the great pleasure of visiting The View from Great Island blog, then you need to pop right over and do so. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
It’s marvelous, isn’t it? It is also a wonderful source of unique and delicious recipes. The other day as I was unpacking the bags and bags of groceries that Mr. O-P tends to buy twice weekly, I spotted a package of brats (short for bratwurst, not referring to annoying kids), and sighed as I wondered just what I was going to do with them. Sure, I’ve cooked them in onions and beer again and again (and again), but that was getting a little old. Then, as luck would have it, Sue posted this recipe.
I loved the idea of using the slow cooker and simmering them in cider, so I gave this recipe a try and the four of us dining all enjoyed it. I only had four brats and two cups of apple cider, so used a mid-sized (3-quart) crockpot, and it worked quite well. I also didn’t have white peppercorns, so used black peppercorns. Again, this was fine. You can read more about this and see Sue’s tutorial on her website. Here is my adapted version of her yummy recipe.
Cider Brats with Apple Onion Relish
Slightly adapted from The View from Great Island
4 bratwurst sausages, with buns
Olive oil for brushing
2 cups apple cider
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. black peppercorns
Apple Onion Relish
1/2 sweet yellow onion
1 medium apple (I used a Granny Smith)
3-4 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat until quite hot. Brush the bratwurst with olive oil and place on the grill. Gently poke the sausages in several places with the tip of a sharp knife (I used the tines of a pickle fork) to vent. Grill for about 10 minutes total time, turning the sausages to brown on all sides. (I used a Griddler® with a lid that closes, so only grilled for five minutes as both sides cook at once.)
Pour the cider into a slow cooker and set on low. Put the browned sausages into the slow cooker, along with the bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover and cook for 2 hours. At this point you can turn the slow cooker down to the warm setting to keep the brats ready and waiting for hours.
To make the relish, toast the mustard seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until they start to pop. Remove from the heat and set aside. Peel and mince the onion. You should have about 1 cup. Add it to a small bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of vinegar. Peel and mince the apple and add to the bowl, tossing well to coat all of the apple with the vinegar so it doesn't turn brown. Add the mustard seeds and toss. Add another bit of vinegar if needed to moisten the relish.
Cover and refrigerate the relish until ready to eat.
To serve, place a brat in a bun, slather with your favorite mustard, and load it up with the apple onion relish.
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