Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Broke-@$$ Oktoberfest Lunch
When I was growing up, my dad often made me sauerkraut and sausage for lunch. I remember that I would wait until my bread got soggy with all of the juices from the sauerkraut, and I would use my fork to cut my sausage (or hot dogs) into small pieces, so that I could enjoy a bite of sausage with every mouthful of sauerkraut. I knew, even as a little girl, that there was something special about the combination of the two: sausage and sauerkraut, like the yin and the yang, like Cagney and Lacey--inseparable, and necessary with the other. Somehow, the tart, mouthpuckering sauerkraut was meant to be paired with the salty sausage meat.
The other day, I received an email about Oktoberfest, and I suddenly remembered my favorite afternoon meal. I am sure that no person of German descent or any other Oktoberfest participant would lend any credibility to my recipe, thus the "broke-@$$" qualifier. Furthermore, presentation-wise, it doesn't look spectacular. However, it is packed with flavor, and will be worthwhile to make, I promise. Best of all, this dish is very affordable (I would venture as far to say that it was "cheap"), and therefore, a meal that is easy on the pockets during these tough financial times.
Sauerkraut and Sausage
1 pkg polish kielbasa, cut into individual-sized portions, or smoked sausage links
1 can of sauerkraut
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1/4 bottle of beer (drink the rest, while cooking)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp brown sugar
Heat the oil in a pan on high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the finely chopped red onion and cook until the onion pieces have wilted and begin slightly brown at the edges. Add the brown sugar and beer, and let the pan's contents simmer and reduce for a few minutes. Then, add the sausage to the pan, quickly turning the links so that they are cooked evenly. Finally, add the sauerkraut, cover the pan, lower the heat, and cook until everything is heated through. Serve with hot dog buns or toasted slices of dark rye bread and grainy mustard.
Oh, and as a side note, when I cut into the red onion in the picture below, I discovered that it was rotten in the middle so I used a white onion instead. Therefore, for a bit of additional color, I added some chopped scallions at the end. As you can see, my preparation was really broke-@$$!