By Nick Thomas
This year’s Oktoberfest may be over, but that’s no reason to quit drinking seasonals, eating brats and generally being merry. Embracing this time of year, the Woodchuck Fall Harvest cider is an ode to the season, bringing “farmer and communities together to celebrate another year of fruitful labor.” The juicy cider is loaded with apple aromas and flavors, matched with baking spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and vanilla from the American White Oak barrels.
These Woodchuck Fall Harvest Cider Boiled Brats are the perfect marriage of flavor and texture, with the sweetness of the cider and brown sugar, the crunch and tartness of the sauerkraut, the dry heat from the brown mustard, the chewiness of the steamed bun—all balanced out with a light dusting of earthy spices. It will be hard to believe you ever thought beer and/or the grill were the holy grail of bratwurst etiquette.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
5 bratwurst links
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
12 ounce Woodchuck Fall Harvest cider
1 16 ounce can sauerkraut, drained
5 bratwurst buns (for serving, optional)
Brown mustard (for serving, optional)
Combine garlic, mace, brown sugar, ground mustard, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and hard apple cider in a bowl. Stir until brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Place bratwursts in a large pan or pot on medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until one side has lightly browned, flip bratwursts with tongs. Pour cider and spice mixture over the bratwursts. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove lid and increase to a medium heat. Cook until the cider reduces and slightly thickens, about 25 minutes. Turn bratwursts once while cooking.
Remove bratwursts from pan and store in a warm place. Add sauerkraut to remaining liquid in pan and cook at a medium heat for 5 minutes, until sauerkraut warms and absorbs the remaining liquid.
Serve either on a plate with a fork and knife or on a *steamed bun, top with sauerkraut and offer brown mustard on the side.
*To make a make-shift bun steamer, while the sauerkraut is cooking toward the end of the recipe, place a cooling rack over the pot or pan to create a shelf. Place buns on rack and cover with an upside down large bowl. Let steam for about 5 minutes.