Grilled Polish Sausage

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.

Grilled Polish Sausage Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

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.

Yum

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Mustard

Method

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.

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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.

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Links:

Hungarian sauerkraut and sausage soup from Pille of Nami-Nami

Sauerkraut with Sausage; No tolerance for picky eaters from Thyme for Cooking

Diane's Sauerkraut and Kielbasa from Kirsten's Home Cooking

Choucroute Garnie from Marc of No Recipes

Showing 4 of 33 Comments

  • Steve K

    Fantastic! I’m with your Dad. I grew up in Wisconsin and now reside in Minnesota, and Sauerkraut with Sausage finds its way to our table just about every other week. It’s usually accompanied by some form of potatoes. During the summer months, warm German potato salad is the standard side. During the winter, we nestle chunks of red potatoes into the kraut right along side the sausage.

    Now I’m hungry!

  • Kimberly

    As a Minnesota resident myself, I have to agree that this is definitely a standby dish in this area. It’s too bad my husband doesn’t care for sauerkraut, because I could eat this at least once a week!

    Looks so good Elise!

  • Anna

    How do I love Bubbies sauerkraut, let me count the ways…. Bubbies sauerkraut and pickles are sold in the chill case.

    Beware, not all the sauerkraut and pickles located in the chill case are as good as Bubbies, which is made the old-fashioned way, with cabbage or pickles and salt through an artisan style process called lacto-fermentation, which has been used through the ages to as food preservation and to boost nutrition/improve digestion.

    Most commercial sauerkraut is now made in with a quicker, cheaper, more standardized industrial process using vinegar and heat instead of beneficial bacteria, brine, and time. I like to serve condiment-sized servings of raw (uncooked) Bubbies sauerkraut often (or salad dressing made with sauerkraut or pickle juice instead of vinegar), as raw fermented foods are naturally probiotic food, which means they contain beneficial bacteria which support good gut flora and immune function (much of the immune system is located in the intestines, as the GI tract is source of exposure to the environment). The soluble fiber in cabbage also is prebiotic, which means even though we lack the enzymes necessary to break down the fiber, it can be fermented and broken down by gut bacteria, yielding beneficial nutrients and prompting healthy cell signaling (facilitating nutrient absorption).

    Heating sauerkraut over 115°F will kill the beneficial bacteria (though it’s still a healthy food) so keep that in mind if you are consuming sauerkraut for the probiotics.

    What excellent information, thank you! No wonder my dad only gets Bubbies. ~Elise

  • Natanya @ Fete and Feast

    What a wonderful summer dish and so great for potlucks or a big group BBQ. It seems almost fool-proof. We’ve been lucky here in Austin as some fantastic local sausage artisans have started selling their wares at farmers markets. I think I’ll have to try some of their sausage in this preparation.

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