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.
I’m a sliced-corned beef Reuben kind of guy. Or I was. We recently ate at a little restaurant where a Reuben was on the menu. I’m a big fan of Reuben sandwiches, and I think they are a good test of the quality of the food a restaurant turns out. Tough corned beef? I’m not coming back. Well, to my surprise the Reuben at the restaurant had chopped corned beef mixed in with kraut. I thought…. hmmmm… I’m not sure about this… but I took a bite and loved it! So I went home and made a big batch for the week’s lunches! There’s nothing fancy about this Reuben. It’s your standard fare. Slow-cooked corned beef, tender, and then chopped. Mixed in with well-rinsed and drained kraut. Easy dressing, cheese, and rye. Done. Eat!
2 pounds fresh sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well
2-3 pound corned beef brisket, rinsed
1 cup Thousand Island dressing
16 slices pumpernickel rye bread, toasted
8-16 slices Swiss cheese
Place kraut in slow cooker.
Add corned beef brisket and the spice packet that came with it.
Add lid and cook on low for 12 until the corned beef is about to fall apart.
Remove the corned beef and chop. Yes, you can slice it if you prefer. Return the beef to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
At this point you can add the Thousand Island to the slow cooker and stir, if you desire, or simply slather it onto the bread slices.
Spoon kraut and beef mixture onto the bread. Note: I like to transfer the mixture to a strainer first. I press down on it lightly to remove as much moisture as I can. This prevents me from having a soggy (bleh!) Reuben.
Wow, what a great sandwich. You know something is great when you both bite into them at the same time, then look up at each other, and smile. You don’t have to say a word. You know it. It’s the best sausage sandwich you’ve ever had. This cedar-planked sausage sandwich is it. First, the Polish sausage is so tender and juicy, with just a hint of cedar. Then, there’s the sweet kraut that is full of caramelized onion flavor and also a hint of cedar. And finally, the kicker, the Sriracha mustard sauce brings the heat and seals the deal. This was the first time I’d cooked sausages on cedar. I know some folks don’t like the aroma or flavor of cedar, but I’ve found that if you don’t over char the planks it’s not that overwhelming, adding that little something different to every dish you cook on it. I love it.