- 8 links good-quality bratwurst, bockwurst, weisswurst or knackwurst sausages
- 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1/4-1/3 cup sugar (eyeball it)
- 8 peppercorns
- 2-3 whole cloves
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 small head red cabbage or 1/2 medium head, cored and thinly shredded (1 pound)
- 1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 green apple, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed or cumin seed (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 slices pumpernickel bread
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), softened
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs, such as chives, dill or flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup good-quality spicy mustard
- Fresh radishes, trimmed and lightly salted
- Cornichons or baby gherkin pickles
Place the sausages in a skillet and add 1/2 inch of water and a drizzle of oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and allow the liquid to evaporate, cooking the sausages through. Once the liquid evaporates, the oil will help brown and crisp up the casings.
Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves and sea salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce for 5-6 minutes over medium-low heat.
While the brine reduces, combine the cabbage, red onion and apple in a bowl. Sprinkle with caraway or cumin seed if you like the flavor.
Pour the hot reduced brine through a strainer over the cabbage mix in a slow stream. Evenly distribute it, then pour about 1/4 cup oil over the salad. Season with salt and pepper, toss to combine and adjust the seasoning.
Toast the bread. In a small bowl, combine the softened butter with the herbs. Spread the mixture on the warm toast.
Serve the sausages with the toast, slaw salad, mustard, radishes and pickles.