Apple Cider Braised Bratwurst
I usually think of bratwurst as a grilled thing, simmered gently in beer and then finished on a hot grill and served with mustard. That’s the bratwurst I love. But, this apple cider braised bratwurst is an entirely different dinner. I like it because it’s a pretty hands off dinner, actually. Once you get the stuff in the skillet and in the oven, it’s hard to screw up.
Usually you use a light beer to cook bratwurst, but I didn’t really want to braise this dish in beer. Just seemed like it might produce some bitter flavors once it cooked down. So I went with apple cider which worked better than I was expecting. The sauce that is left after the braise is sweet, but not overly sweet, and has a slightly tangy apple flavor which is nice.
I thought about adding some sliced apples to the braise as well, but I was worried they would get soggy. I think you could though if you wanted to.
This twist on braised bratwurst is a homey, comforting dish that I’ll definitely be making again before the season is over. It’s naturally gluten-free and even the kids liked it!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large cast iron skillet (at least 12 inches) add olive oil over medium heat along with sliced onions, peppers, and cabbage. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until the veggies are wilted.
- When the vegetables have reduced down by about half and are softened, nestle the bratwurst in the mixture and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Pour in 2 cups apple cider and bring to a simmer on the stovetop.
- Transfer skillet to the oven and cook in the oven, covered, for 30 minutes, then remove the cover to cook off some of the liquid and keep cooking in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
- The dish is done when the bratwurst is cooked through and may even be browned in spots on top and the cabbage is browned and very tender. Season dish with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the braised bratwurst and cabbage with a starch of your choice, good bread works or a potato of some sort works as well.
Apple Cider Braised Bratwurst
To start this dish, you need a big skillet of veggies. With the onion, pepper, and cabbage, it should completely fill your skillet. Don’t worry. It’ll cook down and make room for other stuff.
Season the veggies with a pinch of salt and pepper to start and cook them down for about 10 minutes over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. They might get some browning in some parts, and that’s okay. Stir them a few times to prevent burning. They should reduce by about half!
Then just kind of nestle the bratwurst in the cabbage mixture, wherever they fit, and pour in the apple cider.
I like a sprinkle of caraway seeds on mine, but you could skip that if you don’t have any handy.
This whole skillet goes in the oven, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then uncover it and cook for another 15-20 minutes to reduce the liquid and promote some browning. It’s done when the brats are cooked through and browned slightly and the cabbage is very tender. There should be a light sauce in the skillet as well that you can spoon over the dish as you serve it.
Serve this apple cider braised bratwurst with any starch: potatoes or bread are my favorite.
Pass it along if you know any brat fans!