Smoked Sausage with Apple Fennel “Sauerkraut”

Double the amount of sausages and buns—the Apple Fennel Sauerkraut will stretch to feed a crowd! I love serving these sausages on Martin’s Long Potato Rolls because the texture of the bun is soft but hardy.  The juices from the sausage and the sauerkraut are soaked up by the bread, but the bread still keeps its shape. In fact, I like Martin’s so much that I pack them with my barbecue meal kits that I sell on CarolinaCueToGo.com

 

Serves 8

Grilling Method: Medium-low Heat (can be cooked direct or indirect)

Mock Sauerkraut:

1 large fennel bulb

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 Large Vidalia onion, cut in rings

5 Granny Smith apples, grated

½ lemon, juiced

1½ tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

½ cup hard cider or apple juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

8 uncooked sausages, such as Bratwurst, Italian, etc

2 tablespoons butter, melted

8 Martin’s Long Potato Rolls

Spicy brown or Dijon mustard

 

Clean and cut the fennel bulb in long strips (julienne) and trim tops. Reserve furry leafy part that resembles dill and chop finely for later use.   Heat oil in heavy-bottomed sauce pot or small Dutch oven over medium heat, add onion and kosher salt.  Cook until onion begins to brown, add strips of fennel, stir, and let cook covered for about 5 minutes or until fennel begins to wilt. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Preheat the grill.

Meanwhile, mix grated apple with lemon juice and add to pot. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.  Add butter, mixing well.  Add caraway seeds, reserved fennel tops and hard cider or apple juice.  Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, uncovered.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let sit to allow the flavors to mingle.  The sauerkraut can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Just before serving, warm sauerkraut, grill sausages and toast buns, if desired.

To grill sausages, place them on the cooking grate directly over medium-low heat for 25-35 minutes, turning occasionally until they are cooked through, bubbling and browned on all sides of the sausage.  If using indirect heat, turn once halfway through the cooking time.  If using direct heat, turn occasionally and watch closely so the sausages don’t burn.

Meanwhile, split the buns and brush a little butter on the inside.  Toast until lightly browned by placing cut side down directly on the cooking grates for 1-2 minutes or until marked.  When ready to serve, place one sausage and a generous amount of the sauerkraut on the bun and serve with mustard on the side.  Serve immediately.