For years and years I have grilled my sausages after they spent some quality time in a ‘bath’ of beer and peppers and onions. And they are great, I admit it. But these kraut-stuffed sausages, well, they’re really beyond great. Tender, moist, and just packed with flavor. Such a wonderful texture in every single bite. I couldn’t stop eating them. Topped with plenty of mustard, these are now my only go-to grilled sausages. You have to use the right kind of sausages to make these kraut-stuffed sausages. Get the fresh sausages, with casings. You need to be able to poke your finger inside to make a cavity for the fantastic (but easy) filling. And unless your fingers are really, really long, don’t get really, really long sausages!
I suggested to Anita that we try adding other things to the stuffing, such as chopped roasted jalapenos, or poblanos or the like and she gave me a dirty look. The “don’t mess with this” look. So I won’t.
1 pound fresh sausages (Italian, Kielbasa, whichever you prefer, just make sure you get the sausages in casings). I used Johnsonville Italian sausages which come 5 to a pound
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, cut thin
1 pound kraut plus some of the juice
1 cup shredded cheese (Monterrey Jack, mozzarella, any good white melting cheese will work)
5 fresh sausage buns
Your favorite mustard
Using your fingers, make a hole down the center of each sausage, creating a cavity that runs the full length of the sausages.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, kraut, and a bit of the juice from the kraut jar.
Stir and let cook until the onions are softened.
Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Stir in the cheese. It won't melt but it will help bind the kraut mixture together.
Fire up your grill for indirect cooking.
Using your hands, grab some of the kraut mixture and force it into the cavity in the sausages. Just keep packing it in. Don't worry about being all pretty and what-not, just get it in there. But don't shove so hard that you have a blowout!
Place sausages over indirect heat on the grill and cook for 30 minutes until nice and dark and done.
Toast the buns.
Add cooked sausages to the buns and top with plenty of mustard.
It was one of those days. Too much to do, and just not enough time to put together a complicated meal. And worse, it was mighty cold out. And snowing. The best solution to my problems? This slow cooker spicy kielbasa cabbage soup. Yes, three ingredients. That’s it. Great Campbell’s spicy V8 flavor (you could substitute any V8 flavor that you love!), with yummy kielbasa sausage. Oh, and cabbage. It’s deceptively good, actually, and not what you might expect from something so easy. It’s perfect for a busy day.
I prefer to brown most meats before adding them to the slow cooker. It adds a bit of texture and color and better flavor, in my opinion. But you don’t have to brown the kielbasa for this soup first.
Don’t let the ‘spicy’ part scare you. For us, at least, this soup did not come out overly spicy at all. The flavors mellow a bit as the soup cooks throughout the day.
Usually, a quick grilled dinner at our house consists of some burgers or dogs, with a side and a salad. But sometimes, I like to throw together a just-as-easy meal-in-a-packet, like these grilled kielbasa dinner packets. Everything’s in there. Just assemble (you can put them together the night before) and toss onto a grill over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Adding rosemary really takes this from a rather mundane dish to something a little more special. Next time, though, I’m adding chopped bell pepper or poblano for a little crunch.