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Bratburger with Red Sauerkraut and Apple Mustard Relish

My family is of German descent and since the hamburger was originally made in Hamburg Germany, I thought I would combine some of my family’s favorite flavors. We love our brats, in all flavors, with sauerkraut and mustard. My family also made what we called snitzel burgers that had the flavors of fresh dill, parsley and lots of garlic. I combined these two favorites into the Bratburger. I hope you will enjoy the taste of these great juicy burgers as much as my family and friends have.


12 slices regular cut bacon
1 1/3 cups white onions, - 1/2 cup chopped finely for the sauerkraut, 1/3 cup chopped finely for the apple relish and 1/2 cup grated finely for the patties
1 2/3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped finely – 1 cup for the sauerkraut and 3/4 cup for the relish
1/4 teaspoon caraway
1 each 14 ounce can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well
1 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel – 2/3 cup for the sauerkraut and 1/3 cup for the patties
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Honey Mustard
4 1/4 teaspoons grill seasoning, ground finely in a spice grinder – 4 teaspoons for the patties and 1/4 teaspoon for the apple relish
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound uncooked pork bratwurst sausage, removed from the casing
2 each medium cloves garlic, minced finely
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped finely
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped finely
vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 each Kaiser rolls, split
12 slices Swiss cheese


Directions Preheat a gas grill to medium high, or prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover. To cook the bacon, place a 12 inch fireproof skillet on the grill and heat. When the skillet is hot, add the bacon and cook turning until crisp and well done. Place the bacon on paper towels to drain and set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings for the sauerkraut. To make the sauerkraut, place the 12 inch skillet with the 3 tablespoons bacon drippings on the grill to heat. Add 1/2 cup of the chopped onion reserving 1/3 cup for the apple relish. Add 1 cup of the chopped apple, reserving 2/3 cup for the apple relish. Add the caraway seeds. Cook until the onions and apples are tender but not browned. Add the sauerkraut and 2/3 cup of the wine, reserving 1/3 cup of the wine for the patties. Cook approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauerkraut is tender and the wine has been absorbed. The sauerkraut will be red from the wine, which is the way it should be. Remove the skillet from the direct heat and place over a low heat to keep warm. To make the apple relish, combine the mayonnaise, mustard and 1/4 teaspoon of the grill seasoning in a bowl. Reserve 4 teaspoons of the grill seasoning for the patties. Mix well. Fold in the 2/3 cup chopped apples and the 1/3 cup chopped onions. Place bowl in the refrigerator until time for assembly. To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, the bratwurst sausage, 1/2 cup grated onion, 1/3 cup of wine, garlic, dill, parsley, and 4 teaspoons of the grill seasoning in a large bowl. Mix well, handling as little as possible to avoid compacting. Divide the mixture into 6 equal patties, making them to fit the roll size. Set aside. To cook the burgers, brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack over direct heat. Cook the patties, turning only once, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until well done. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls cut side down on the outer edges of the grill until lightly browned. During the last couple of minutes of cooking top each patty with 2 slices of cheese. Cover until cheese melts. To assemble the burgers, on each roll bottom, place a patty, equal portions of the sauerkraut and 2 slices of the bacon. On each roll top, place equal amounts of the apple mustard relish. Place the roll top on the roll bottom. Makes 6 burgers