Brats Taste the Wurst, In a Good Way

For much of the country, when Autumn breezes in, the outdoor temps cool, daylight wanes, and our culinary expectations shift away from Summer’s bounty toward an exciting hardier fare. Fall’s harvest is where we look for vegetables that are “good keepers,” such as the fundamentals in this Bratwurst with Cabbage and Apples recipe.

No doubt, fully-cooked sausages are a great choice for speedy weeknight dinners. Pairing them with cabbage braised in beer plus vinegar, cloves, and jelly, you’ve got yourself your own mini Oktoberfest in no time at all!

I wanted to use up some recently purchased bratwurst (a type of German sausage made from veal, beef, or most commonly pork), so I located a Fine Cooking recipe with the German sausage as the main ingredient. But lacking many of the other elements, I substituted what I did have on hand instead of running to the grocery store.


The recipe below is based on what I strategically threw together. However, if you prefer to go the traditional route, the original fixings are mentioned in (italicized parentheses) next to each item. When pairing your beverage, the beer or wine in a recipe is a good candidate to serve alongside it. In this recipe, the lager will have a nice spice and even slight sweetness to stand up to the similar flavors in the food.

On another note, Russ is bound and determined to make his own sausages this year, so stay tuned for a future blog about our own homemade links—with hopeful expectations of better than the “wurst.”




  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved and thinly sliced (1 medium yellow onion)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 head, about 6 cups savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (red cabbage)
  • 1 large Honey Crisp apple, peeled and chopped (Granny Smith apple)
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup lager-style beer
  • 1/4 cup lime marmalade (red currant jelly)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bratwurst, knockwurst, or other cooked sausage of your choice
  • Mustard, for serving—Dijon preferred


  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage and apple, and cook, tossing occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the butter, beer, jelly, vinegar, cloves, 1 tsp. salt, and a couple of grinds of pepper. cover and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and heated through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Serve the cabbage with the sausages and some mustard on the side, if you like.


1 thought on “Brats Taste the Wurst, In a Good Way

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