I think I've groused for months about missing out on apple picking this year. Obviously I'm upset. Mostly because I'm used to utilizing apples in many of my favorite fall dishes.
And I'm not just referring to baked goods (although I did manage to sneak an apple crisp into the freezer before Thatbaby's arrival) - apples are a welcome addition to many savory dishes. As you'll see this week, I especially love them with pork. The sweetness of the pork, the sweetness of the apples, they go together like peanut butter and chocolate.
I've been playing around a lot with conflicting flavors as of late - and this recipe is an prime example of that. I took my pork and apple philosophy and decided to apply it to sausage. Sausage and peppers is a fairly typical dish, but substituting the apples for the peppers is a more seasonal approach. I went with a really spicy sausage too, instead of the typical Polish sausage to give it a bit more kick. Spicy and sweet is usually a winning combination. So with the sweet and spicy taken care of, there was another flavor profile I wanted to include - something with a little bite. So I went with another stereotypical sausage pairing - sauerkraut.
To further emphasize my insanity, or my love for apples, I cooked the sauerkraut with apples too. Adding an ingredient to every step of the dish both makes you look like a looney and intensifies the taste of that ingredient. And I didn't want the apples to get lost in the spice and brine.
They didn't. What they did do was help to contrast the spiciness of the sausage - and boy did these things have some heat to them! They also helped to sweeten the sauerkraut and help to meld together the disparate flavors.
I thought long and hard for a creative name for this dish and came up empty. But maybe you'll have better luck. Or perhaps you'll be so busy eating that the age old adage "What's in a name?" will take on a more profound meaning for you.
Sausage and Apples with Sauerkraut
1/2 lb sauerkraut
1 apple, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
salt and pepper
12 oz Italian sausage, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
- In a large skillet, combine sauerkraut, half of the apple, beef broth, and caraway seeds. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauerkraut is cooking, cook the sausage in a separate to the skillet.
- Add the onions and remaining apple to the sausage. Cook until the onions are lightly browned and the apple is tender.
- Add the sausage mixture to the sauerkraut and continue cooking for whatever time is remaining on the sauerkraut.