While the inclination to stuff brats into a bun is understandable, treating them like a straight-up sausage has its merits, too. Here, they're pan-fried with bacon, apples, and onions in a mustard sauce and served with parsley-flecked spaetzle—the perfect thing for sopping up the juices.
If you can't find fire-roasted peppers, regular canned ones will work just fine. A little bit of heat is nice here, too, so if you can get your hands on canned, fire-roasted green chilies or jalapeños, consider using them.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- For the Brats:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- 1 1/2 pounds brats (4 to 6 links)
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium apple, cored and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup canned fire-roasted green or red peppers, finely chopped
- 4 ounces beer
- 2 ounces homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Spaetzle:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When shimmering, add brats and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate. Add bacon and allow to brown, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, about 5 minutes.
Add onion and apple and continue to sauté until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and peppers, reduce heat to low and cook a minute more before adding beer, stock, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Return brats to pan. Bring to a simmer and add mustard, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper and continue to simmer over low heat to allow sauce to thicken.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Mix flour, egg, milk, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl.
Working in batches while using a sturdy spoon, force spaetzle through holes of a spaetzle maker or large-holed colander into the boiling water. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until noodles float to the surface. Drain well into a colander, and quickly shock spaetzle with cold water.
Heat butter and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add spaetzle, shake once to distribute evenly, and cook without moving until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately with brats.