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    Start with bratwurst and cabbage, end with two hearty meals

    Sally Vargas' recipe for bratwurst braised in beer with red cabbage and apples.
    Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe
    Sally Vargas' recipe for bratwurst braised in beer with red cabbage and apples.

    Stormy weather invariably comes with a craving for food with heft, and this classic combination of bratwurst and cabbage will satisfy that. The universally popular German pub dish, served on a roll with brown mustard and pickles, is revamped here with slightly sweet-and-sour red cabbage. Simmer the bratwurst in beer with onions and spices to give them maximum flavor, then brown the sausages in a little oil until the skins glisten.

    All you need to do for a weeknight follow-up is make plenty of mashed potatoes. Layer some of the cooked cabbage and sliced bratwurst in a baking dish and top with the golden mash. Make a swirly design with a fork, bake until the edges brown, tuck into your hearty dish, and stay warm.

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    (For bratwurst, casserole)

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    12 precooked bratwurst

    1 cup whole milk

    5 tablespoons butter

    1 large head red cabbage

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    6 medium (2½ pounds) Yukon Gold or
    Yellow Finn potatoes

    2 large onions

    2 Granny Smith or other tart baking apples

    4 bottles (12 ounces each) German-style beer

    1 cup apple cider

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    1 cup cornichons or other pickles

    Salt and pepper

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

    ¾ cup brown mustard

    1 teaspoon caraway seed

    ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns

    2 bay leaves

    2 tablespoons brown sugar

    4 crusty rolls

    Sally Pasley Vargas can be reached at sally.p.vargas@gmail.com.