Sautéed German Sausages with Bacon and Apple Sauerkraut

In Germany's Pfalz region, cooks braise sauerkraut with onions, apples, seasonings, a touch of sugar and a little of the region's Riesling wine, creating an addictive accompaniment for juicy weisswurst or bratwurst.

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  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 very large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons off-dry white wine, such as Riesling
  • 1 large sweet apple, such as Gala or Fuji—peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 pounds sauerkraut—drained, rinsed and squeezed dry (4 packed cups)
  • 12 German-style sausages, such as weisswurst or bratwurst
  • Grainy mustard, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate.

  2. Add the onion to the casserole, cover partially and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 20 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high. Add the wine, apple, juniper berries, bay leaves, sugar, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and boil for 3 minutes. Add the water and the sauerkraut. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the apple is very tender, about 45 minutes.

  3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Poke the sausages several times with a fork and cook them over moderate heat, turning several times, until golden and heated through, about 8 minutes.

  4. Spoon the sauerkraut onto a platter and arrange the sausages on top. Sprinkle the reserved bacon over the sausages and serve with mustard.

Make Ahead

The sauerkraut can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

The kraut's light sweetness pairs perfectly with a slightly off-dry German Riesling.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published October 2005

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