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Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Sandwiches

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Sandwiches

Years ago when I was in college, I fell hopelessly in love with a musician one night when I was out with friends. Typical college-girl story, right? Without going into the mushiness of it all, we later were married and had a kid, dog, house - the works. I tell you this because when I was dating my husband, he lived in the hill country of Texas, between Austin and San Antonio (Fredericksburg to be exact). It was on these trips to visit him that I discovered an entirely different culture that I had never experienced. For those of you who don't know, Texas has a huge German culture, especially in the central part of the state, and when I visited I became more enthralled with it all. From the little grandmas that spoke in German and brought us homemade sausages to the music and food, I fell in love with the traditions. Every time I visit my boyfriend, I couldn't leave without a certain sandwich from one of the local German restaurants. Despite the simplicity of a bratwurst and sauerkraut sandwich, it's a mind bogglingly delicious meal! The secret I found out that made these brats so different than the ones I've had before is simmering in water (not beer), as I was told that's an American adaptation, and searing on the grill or skillet with a little butter. It didn't hurt that they hand-made their bratwursts and sauerkraut, either.

Nowadays we've moved away from that beautiful part of the state, but it doesn't stop me from trying to recreate that central Texas favorite with a German flare - the Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Sandwich. It's a simple meal that makes its way onto my family's dinner table when I'm missing my German friends to the south and feeling nostalgic for the days gone by.

by Meredith Steele

What you'll need

  • 4 bratwurst sausages
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • Sauerkraut
  • German stone-ground mustard

Notes:

serves 4

How to make it

  1. Fill a large sauté pan halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Carefully place the bratwursts in the water and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, flipping once with tongs. Remove to a plate and discard water. Pat the bratwursts dry with a paper towel.
  2. Over medium-high heat, melt butter in the sauté pan. Add the cooked bratwursts and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes a side until golden.
  3. If desired, lightly toast the hot dog buns in a toaster, or in the oven under the broiler, until lightly golden. Spread a spoonful of mustard on the interior of the buns. Next, place one bratwurst in each bun. Top with a few spoonfuls of sauerkraut and serve.

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