Hard Cider Braised Brats

Know how I’m always talking about how Paleo food is simple food? I’ve got another recipe for you that demonstrates what I’m talking about: Hard Cider Braised Brats.

You’ll need:
A package of brats (usually 5 to a pack) and make sure they’re free of gluten, soy, nitrates, sugar and all the other gnarly stuff we don’t want to eat anymore. (Pastured pork is best if you are able to get your hands on some). Grab a good quality natural hard apple cider (gluten free, of course) that comes in a 12 ounce bottle, half a white or yellow onion and a bay leaf. That’s it. Oh and you’ll also need some bacon grease or freshly rendered lard—which is my preference.  I’m hooked on the stuff since getting my copy of Beyond Bacon.

To prep, break out your Dutch oven (or any thick-bottomed pot with a fitted lid) and heat it to medium or medium-high—whatever will get you a good sear on your brat. Melt two to three tablespoons of lard (or bacon grease) and add the brats.  Once the brats are in the pan, don’t move them around until it’s time to flip them over. The goal is to get a deep brown crust on two sides before adding the braising liquid. If you’re constantly stirring and moving, they won’t sear properly. While the brats do their thing, slice about a half cup’s worth of white or yellow onion, like this:



Once the brats are seared, toss in the sliced onion and bay leaf. Give everything a good stir and pour in a 12 ounce bottle of hard apple cider. Bring to a boil first before reducing the heat to low and covering the pot.  Let braise for 20 to 25 minutes.

The hard cider reduces into a sweet and tangy sauce and the lard gives it a silky texture. It’s fantastic!





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Serve the brats with sauerkraut and some of that delicious sauce spooned over the top. If you’re in the mood to get crafty in the kitchen, I definitely recommend taking a minute to review Stupid Easy Paleo’s tutorial on how to make homemade sauerkraut. It will do good things for the health of your gut.

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It’s the Dutch oven to the rescue again with this recipe, however there are other options you can use if you don’t yet have one. There’s also a pan called a Braiser that has a neat shape. Though truthfully any heavy-duty pan with a secure lid will braise the brats just fine.

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    • says

      I’ve seen single bottles for sale in stores. They’re a few ounces larger than what’s needed for braising five brats, but I’m sure you could figure out what to do with the excess 😉

  1. Amanda says

    I just tried this tonight and WOW! It was so delicious and easy to make! My husband absolutely loved this dish and wants me to add it to our regular rotation :) Thank you so much for sharing a winning recipe!

  2. Miatamama says

    I have always braised my brats in beer and onions as my German heritage dictates. I am definitely trying this. Sounds delicious!!

    • popularpaleo says

      Same here! Hard cider seemed like a natural choice now that I’m on the Paleo side of the fence… Enjoy it!

  3. says

    Is there something I can replace the hard apple cider with? I am not really a fan of the hard apple cider….I know I know I am crazy! Or does it cook down enough where you can’t really taste it? Thank You!

    • says

      It certainly concentrates and becomes tangy and sweet. I think the onion and bay leaf help to transform it. Also, when eaten with sauerkraut beautiful things happen… But. I don’t want to steer you wrong. Hard apple cider really is the best alternative to beer (which is how I used to make it). Hmmm… I thought I saw hard PEAR cider on the shelves when I picked up the Crispin. Maybe that would be a good alternative??


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