Simple sophistication meets New England hospitality at Branch Line, a neighborhood rotisserie and wood-fire grill in Watertown, Massachusetts. Best known for its signature Green Circle Rotisserie chicken — a bird that is prepared and roasted for days — craft beverage is also embraced at the restaurant with 20 regularly rotating draft lines, one dedicated exclusively to cider, plus nine curated ciders in bottle or can from around the globe.
“Cider is going through the same evolution that beer did — so many ciders are becoming as varied, as different and as interesting as beer is,” says Deena Marlette, general manager at the cozy eatery. “Offering a wide variety, showcasing different styles, yeasts, etc., allows a guest to try something that they might have never had.”
Like fellow Bay Stater Stormalong Cider, which the kitchen features in its popular cider-braised bratwurst plate.
“This dish screams fall,” Marlette says. “Stormalong’s Mass Appeal cider has a super crisp, dry, intense apple flavor with a touch of sweetness from McIntosh and Golden Delicious apples. Cooking with it in this dish really comes through, giving the bratwurst a really cider-y flavor.”
Cider-Braised Bratwurst with Granny Smith Apple Slaw
Recipe courtesy of Branch Line, Watertown, MA
4 cups Stormalong Cider Mass Appeal
1 bay leaf
1 cup apple slaw (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 200° F. Place the bratwursts in a 2-inch oven-safe pan. Add the cider and bay leaf. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Braise for 6 hours.
Remove the bratwursts from the braising liquid and place on a hot grill. Cook until desired char is achieved. Served with the apple slaw and generous amounts of whole grain mustard.
Makes 6 cups
1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, quartered with cores removed and thinly sliced
1 sprig dill, fronds picked and chopped finely
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar into the apple cider vinegar. Add the whole grain mustard, dill, salt and pepper. Add the cabbage to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Let sit 10 minutes. Add apples and mix. Salt and pepper as needed.