Tired of the same ole dogs and brats this summer? Try these soul satisfying Fresh Turkey Sausages with Apple Fennel “Sauerkraut.” It’s a real treat for everyone–people who think they don’t like sauerkraut will love the “not” sauerkraut. Those who favor the kraut will love the sweet savory flavor of the tart apples and fennel as a nice change of taste. Serve on a bun or off with lots of spicy brown (German) mustard and a robust beer, sparkling wine or hard apple cider. This is also a great cookout dish!
And if you are wondering why the gorgeous green parrot? It’s because I didn’t have a good picture of the sausages and kraut and the Parrot makes me smile:)!
Fresh Turkey Sausage with Apple Fennel “Sauerkraut”
Grilling Method: Indirect/Medium Heat
1 large fennel bulb
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 Large Vidalia onion, chopped
5 Granny Smith apples, grated
½ lemon, juiced
1½ tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
½ cup hard cider or apple juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 fresh turkey sausages such as Honeysuckle White or Shadybrook Farms sweet or hot Italian
1 quart of apple cider
2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
8 poppy-seed hot dog buns or French rolls
Spicy brown or Dijon mustard
Clean and cut the fennel bulb in long strips (julienne) and trim tops. Reserve furry leafy part that resembles dill and chop finely for later use. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, add onion and kosher salt. Cook until onion begins to brown, add strips of fennel, stir, and let cook covered for about 5 minutes or until fennel begins to wilt. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Meanwhile, mix grated apple with lemon juice and add to pan. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add butter, mixing well. Add caraway seeds, reserved fennel tops and hard cider or apple juice. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, uncovered. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let sit to allow the flavors to mingle. The “sauerkraut” can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
An hour before serving, warm sauerkraut on a low heat and grill sausages. To grill sausages, place them on the cooking grate for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally to mark all sides of the sausage. If cooking smoked sausage that has been pre-cooked, it will only take a total of 6-8 minutes to mark and warm through. When the sausages are browned and cooked through, remove from grill onto a clean platter. Take them inside (or use the side burner on your grill) and put them in a small stockpot
or 4 quart saucepan. Fill the pan with the apple cider and add the sausages. All of the sausages should be submerged, if you need more liquid, add water or additional apple cider. Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes. If skipping this step, cook sausage on the grill for a total of 30-40 minutes or until completely cooked through. Just before serving, split the buns and brush a little butter or olive oil on the inside. Toast until lightly browned by placing cut side down directly on the cooking grates for 2-3 minutes or until marked. When ready to serve, place one sausage and a generous amount of the sauerkraut on the bun and serve with mustard on the side. Serve immediately.