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Bratwurst with Apples, Onion and Sauerkraut

Bratwurst with Apples, Onion and Sauerkraut

1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tbsp. flour [recipe called for 'Wondra' flour, which 'dissolves quickly to prevent lumps from forming'; that stuff's too processed for me, so I'd just use regular flour and deal with it]
1 tsp. ground black pepper
4 C sauerkraut (preferably fresh), rinsed, drained, squeezed dry (from one 32-oz. jar) [or your own home-fermented!]
1 large onion [or a couple small], halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
3 large apples [more since ours are small], about 1lbs. total, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
6 whole smoked bratwurst (about 1 lb.), pierced all over with skewer [or toothpick or fork]
4 bay leaves
1 C beef broth [or your own stock]
2 tbsp. dry vermouth
2 tbsp. ketchup

1  tbsp. butter, melted
Pumpernickel bread or whole grain bread

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400 degrees F. Place caraway seeds and fennel seeds in small sealable plastic bag and crush with mallet [or grind in a mortar and pestle]; add flour and pepper to bag; shake to blend.

Spread sauerkraut over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle a third of the flour mixture over. Arrange onion slices over; sprinkle with half of remaining flour mixture, then lightly with salt. Spread half of apple slices over, and then sprinkle with remaining flour mixture. Place bratwurst over apples, and then arrange remaining apple slices around bratwurst. Tuck in bay leaves. Mix broth, vermouth, and ketchup in measuring cup. Pour broth mixture evenly over. Cover tightly with foil.

Roast bratwurst 45 minutes. Uncover; brush with melted butter. Roast uncovered until edges of apples and sausages begin to brown, about 25 minutes longer. Serve with bread.