Thursday, September 25, 2014
Kraut Brat Cabbage Roll Sandwiches
Sep 25 2014
It has been such good weather I have wanted to get out and cook on my smoker. I have been taking meds for a bad hip & leg so I have been cooking indoors. I decided today I would do a cook I have had the idea to do.
We love cabbage rolls but they are a pain to make. I have a recipe for unstuffed cabbage rolls I usually make when I get a taste for some. Most of our immigrant ancestors from Europe brought cabbage roll recipes with them. Most are filled with ground meat, rice and seasoning; wrapped in cabbage leaves then baked with a tomato sauce over them.
My idea was to make some and serve them in a bun for a sandwich, much like a brat. For my first try I decided to use brats instead of making the filling. My butcher makes some great fresh sauerkraut brats I thought would be good to use.
I always hated to get the cabbage blanched so I could get the leaves off in one piece to use as wraps. I found a great new way; clean the cabbage leaving whole. Use a two pronged fork and pierce the heart.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a colander next to the stove on a tray. Dip the cabbage in the boiling water with the fork and after 2 to 3 minutes remove to the colander and cut 2 to 3 leaves off. Put the cabbage back in the boiling water for another 2 to 3 minutes then repeat. Do until you have as many leaves as you want or you’re done with the whole head.
This works slick; by cutting the rib near the core a leaf slides off easily in one piece. I cut off 5 leaves for my 4 brats; an extra in case I tore one. I would use the rest of the cabbage over some onions and lay the brat cabbage rolls on top to bake. My sauce was the usual one I make for cabbage rolls.
1 28 oz. can of a good brand crushed tomatoes
1 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 tsp of salt or to taste
1 tsp dried garlic flakes
Salt and pepper for the table
Mix all the above and let set a while before pouring over the cabbage rolls. This is pretty mild with the sugar and vinegar giving a slight sweet sour taste. If you want more add more or you can use your own recipe.
I smoked the brats at 18o to 195deg. grill level for an hour 50 minutes. I sprayed a casserole bowl with a little olive oil; added 4 slices sweet onion sliced in half in the bottom. I had put what was left of the cabbage back in the pot and simmered a half hour. I cut up about ¾ of that in ¾ inch chop and added that over the onions, and poured about half the sauce over it. I rolled the brats in the cabbage leaves, used 2 toothpicks to secure each and laid them on top of the cabbage. I poured the rest of the sauce on; covered and in a preheated 255 deg. oven to slow cook until supper at 6:00. It would be in for 3 hours. I checked at 1 ½ hours and didn’t look bubbly enough so I went to 275 deg. for the second 1 ½ hours.
Serve these with your favorite brat buns; mine are just slightly larger than a hot dog bun and not too crusty. For a little added touch I sliced the tops off to square up; sprayed on some olive oil and toasted in a hot skillet.
My wife and I both thought this made a great sandwich; we had the cabbage and onions on the side. I thought about having it over rice to get it in there but was delicious the way it was. My cabbage was just a bit crunchy but we like it that way; if you like it softer you may want to bake at 300deg.
Came off nice
For the sauce
Onions are in
Wrapping the brats
All in ready to bake
Ready to serve