Sally Pasley Vargas for the Boston Globe

Serves 4 with leftovers

2 large onions, sliced
1 teaspoon caraway seed
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon brown mustard
2 bay leaves
12 precooked bratwurst
4 bottles (12 ounces each) German-style beer
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large head red cabbage, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider
2 Granny Smith or other tart baking apples, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 crusty rolls, split in half
Extra brown mustard (for serving)
1 cup cornichons or other pickles (for serving)

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1. In a large flameproof casserole, place the onions, caraway seed, peppercorns, 1 tablespoon mustard, and bay leaves. Prick the bratwurst several times with the tip of a knife. Add them to the pan and pour in the beer. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes.

2. With tongs, transfer the bratwurst to a plate. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a bowl. Drain the cooking liquid. Wipe out the pan with paper towels; set aside.

3. Add the oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the bratwurst and cook, turning often, for 4 minutes or until they are browned all over. Transfer to a plate. Set aside 4 bratwurst for the casserole.

4. Add a couple of handfuls of the cabbage to the pot along with the cider. Stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the remaining cabbage, apples, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender.

5. Stir in the onions and cook 5 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Set aside 6 cups of cabbage for the casserole.

6. Set a roll on each of 4 plates. Place 2 bratwurst on each roll, and top with the cabbage mixture. Serve with mustard and pickles. Sally Pasley Vargas