Friday, October 22, 2010

A rare Autumn

We have had a glorious autumn here on the front range in Colorado. Brilliant blue skies, warm, sunny days and cool, clear evenings put a spring in everyone's step.

Most people I know love autumn. To me, it always has been tinged with a bit of meloncholy, probably because I love summer so much. But, I have a sure-fire antedote: I cook!

Although Oktoberfest is long gone, this recipe, from Whole Foods, is one I make all season long. I love the combination of sweet, sour and savory flavors. Serve with a good German beer, if you like.

Baked Sausage and Sauerkraut with Apples

Serves 8

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds large raw pork sausage links, left whole*
4 cups good quality sauerkraut, well drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
4 firm cooking apples, such as Fuji or Pippin, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Dark, spicy German mustard

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large oven-safe skillet (I use my biggest cast iron pan), melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Saute onion and rosemary sprigs until onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add olive oil to the skillet. Add sausages and cook, turning, just until skins are browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove sausages to a plate.

Add sauerkraut and onions to skillet. Nestle sausages onto the top. Mix the wine and chicken broth together and pour slowly over the top. Add bay leaf to center of the pan. Cover with lid or foil and transfer pan to oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare apples by melting remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet. Add apples and sprinkle brown sugar over. Saute until just tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.

To serve, spoon baked sausage and sauerkraut onto a serving platter. Top with sauteed apples. Serve spicy mustard on the side.

*Nothing personal, Whole Foods, but I typically buy German sausage from my local butcher.

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