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Playing Bratwurst Reubens with Sweet 'n Sour Red Cabbage


  • 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cloudy apple cider
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, preferred brand Braggs
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup, divided
  • A few juniper berries, optional
  • A few allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 fresh bratwurst sausages
  • Canola oil, for drizzling
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 1/2 pound sliced Emmentaler Swiss cheese
  • Deli-style garlic or half sour pickles


Serves: 4 servings


Place cabbage, onion, cider, cider vinegar, brown sugar, 1/4 cup ketchup, the juniper berries if using, allspice berries, mustard, coriander and caraway seeds, and bay leaf in a medium pot. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and bring to boil. Reduce heat and partially cover, and cook until cabbage is very tender and the flavor develops, 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat a grill pan or griddle over medium-high heat.
Simmer the fresh sausages in an inch of water to cook them through. If they are cooked bratwurst skip this step.  Butterfly the bratwursts so they open like a book. Griddle on both sides with a drizzle of oil until crispy and brown. Wipe griddle clean.
Combine sour cream, remaining 1/4 cup ketchup, relish, fresh herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Spread bread on one side lightly with butter. Dress the other side of the bread with the sauce and layer cheese, sausage, cabbage, cheese and bread, with the buttered sides facing out. Grill the sandwiches over medium heat until crispy and brown and the cheese melts.