This bratwurst and kraut meal may be the quickest slow cooker meal you ever made!
This is what I call a real short-cut meal.
It’s done in the slow cooker, but if made on high, it will take 3 hours or less. You can do it stove top as well, in dutch oven and it takes even less time.
My secret with slow cooking when it comes to potatoes is–I use canned. Yep, canned.
A friend once told me that one of the most useful canned pantry items was whole canned potatoes. They appear to be new potatoes from the size but the great thing about them is they keep their shape and don’t fall to pieces during the longer cook times in a slow cooker.
I used bratwurst here. That’s where the major prep lies with this dish. First I prick the bratwurst’s casings and steam them for about 10 minutes to release a lot of the fat I just don’t want in the finished food. Then I slice them and brown them in a skillet. The slow cooker (or the stove top cooking) will finish them off.
This meal tastes really good made with fully-cooked smoked sausage or kielbasa. If you use those, all you’re doing is warming up all the ingredients in the crock pot. That may seem silly, but you can dump this in and go about doing other things, especially if you set the cooker to low!
This meal may not be very glamorous, but it’s tasty, hearty and filling. Nice for a chilly night.
- 1 lb bratwurst (or smoked sausage/kielbasa)
- 1 can (14 oz) whole potatoes, drained
- 1 can (14-16 oz) sauerkraut (undrained)
- ¼ cup apple juice
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp caraway seeds (see NOTES)
- If using uncooked bratwurst, prick casing and steam for 10 minutes to release excess fat. This step may be eliminated if using fully-cooked smoked sausage or kielbasa.
- When the sausage is cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch pieces (do the same if using kielbasa)
- Brown sausage (or kielbasa) in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add browned sausage to slow cooker.
- Add the sauerkraut, juice, sugar caraway seeds and potatoes. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours, low about 5 hours (times are approximate)