Attention sausage and sauerkraut lovers! I think it’s time we had our own fan club, don’t you? I nominate my Minnesota-raised father as the honorary chairman of that club. All I have to do is mention the words sausage and sauerkraut, and it doesn’t seem to matter what else is involved. He’s all over it. (Hmm, S & S pizza anyone?) In this case when I mentioned we were grilling polish sausages and then simmering them in beer with sauerkraut and onions, he couldn’t get here fast enough. This is great summer grilling party food because you can keep those sausages simmering for a couple hours on the grill, ensuring you have hot food ready throughout the party. From what I understand, this dish is a summer standby in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Dad thinks it’s pretty common in Nebraska too. I’m just happy it made its way to Northern California. My patio to be specific. Enjoy.
We recommend jarred fresh sauerkraut (like Bubbies), which you can find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. If you don't have a grill, or this isn't grilling season, you can also put all ingredients into a casserole dish and bake in a 350°F oven for 1 1/2 hours.
- 2-3 pounds kielbasa, Polish sausage or bratwurst
- 1 to 2 light-colored (not dark) beers
- 1 to 1 1/2 pints of sauerkraut
- 2 medium yellow onions, thickly sliced
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 Tbsp. caraway seed
1 Grill the sausages slowly over medium heat, allowing them to get well browned. Be patient; do not be tempted to grill the links over high heat, or they will break open and the juices and fat will drain into the grill (they may break open anyway, but they'll break less if you cook them slowly).
2 While the sausages are cooking, put an aluminum grilling pan on a cooler part of the grill and pour in the beer. Stir in the celery and caraway seeds and salt. Bring to a simmer. (This may require covering the grill.) Once the sausages are browned add the sausages, the sauerkraut and sauerkraut juices to the pan.
3 Grill the onions. Paint the sliced onion with the vegetable oil and grill on high direct heat. If your grates are too wide and you think you will lose too much onion through the grates, you can either skip the grilling part and put the onions directly into the beer bath, or you can cut the onions in halves or quarters and grill them that way. Then slice them and add them to the beer.
4 Cover the grill and simmer (a low simmer, not a boil) for 30 minutes to 2 hours before serving.
Serve as is in a bowl or on a plate, or in a sandwich roll. Serve with mustard on the side.