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Recipe for bratwurst braised in beer with red cabbage and apples

Sally Pasley Vargas for the Boston Globe

Serves 4 with leftovers

2large onions, sliced
1teaspoon caraway seed
¼teaspoon black peppercorns
1tablespoon brown mustard
2bay leaves
12precooked bratwurst
4bottles (12 ounces each) German-style beer
1tablespoon vegetable oil
1large head red cabbage, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1cup apple cider
2Granny Smith or other tart baking apples, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
2tablespoons brown sugar
6tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
4crusty rolls, split in half
Extra brown mustard (for serving)
1cup cornichons or other pickles (for serving)

1. In a large flameproof casserole, place the onions, caraway seed, peppercorns, 1 tablespoon mustard, and bay leaves. Prick the bratwurst several times with the tip of a knife. Add them to the pan and pour in the beer. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes.

2. With tongs, transfer the bratwurst to a plate. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a bowl. Drain the cooking liquid. Wipe out the pan with paper towels; set aside.

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3. Add the oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the bratwurst and cook, turning often, for 4 minutes or until they are browned all over. Transfer to a plate. Set aside 4 bratwurst for the casserole.

4. Add a couple of handfuls of the cabbage to the pot along with the cider. Stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the remaining cabbage, apples, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender.

5. Stir in the onions and cook 5 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Set aside 6 cups of cabbage for the casserole.

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6. Set a roll on each of 4 plates. Place 2 bratwurst on each roll, and top with the cabbage mixture. Serve with mustard and pickles. Sally Pasley Vargas

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