September 30, 2014 by Jason Rice MD
I’ve done a post on sausage and sauerkraut in the past. While this is one of my favorite simple comfort food meals when cooler weather comes around, kraut is not always the easiest sell with younger eaters. Whether it’s the color, the name or the flavor, sauerkraut is probably fairly likely to be left behind on the plates of many children.
For this dish, I amped up the kid-friendly sweetness using apple sausage, fresh apples and red cabbage. The brighter colors and apple sweetness made for a much more enjoyable dish for the little guy, and it was a nice twist on a classic for the adults at the table as well.
The apples I used came from my local produce department, but this recipe would be a great way to end a day of family apple picking this fall. Let’s get started!
- Apple Sausage
- Potatoes, diced
- Sweet onion, sliced
- Red cabbage, prepared
- Apples, diced
- Apple cider
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil and butter
There are plenty of apple sausages in grocery stores these days made with a variety of different meats and other ingredients. I chose a pork sausage with apple and gouda, which turned out to be an excellent choice. The cheese added a little saltiness to balance the sweetness of the apples, and the pork sausage had a bit more smokiness than the chicken sausages I usually see when looking for apple sausage. As the sausage is pre-cooked, the only prep is to slice it and set it aside until it’s ready to go in the pan.
As I said at the top of this post, I used to make this type of dish with sauerkraut most of the time, but I think the red cabbage was a nice change of pace. Either will work, and that decision is up to you and your personal tastes.
You could even get fancy and make your own red cabbage, which would be delicious, but part of the charm of this dish is its simplicity and ease of preparation, so I stuck with the jar this time around. I also just pan-fried the potatoes rather than roasting them as I did in the recipe linked in the last sentence. The key to getting good flavor and crisp on the potatoes when doing them in the pan is to use a mix of butter and olive oil.
Canned diced potatoes work just find here, as well. The canned potatoes save some time and let me get working on peeling and dicing the apples while the potatoes cooked in the pan.
Stir the potatoes thoroughly right after dropping them in the pan to cover them evenly in butter and oil, and then let the potatoes cook for about five minutes without touching them. While they’re cooking, use the time to slice up the onions or other ingredients to avoid the temptation to poke at the potatoes.
Add the onions to the potatoes, and stir again. Let the the onions and potatoes cook until the onions have softened.
While the potatoes and onions are cooking, it’s time to peel and cube the apples. You can use whatever apples you like here. I happened to have some Zestar apples in the house, and they worked really well. They have a nice sweetness, but still have some crunch and tanginess so they don’t get lost. Honey Crisp and SweeTango would also work well.
Toss the apples into the pan along with the sausage. Cook a few minutes until everything is heated through. Add a splash of cider and let that cook down a little bit. Finally, add the red cabbage, and let everything simmer for about 5-10 minutes so that the flavors combine. I like to simmer it uncovered to reduce the liquid a bit, too.
This goes very nicely with some fresh rye bread. For the adults, it also pairs nicely with an Oktoberfest lager, milk stout or a seasonal old ale like Breckenridge Autumn. Good old fashioned apple cider is a solid pairing as well. Enjoy!