Layered franks, sauerkraut, and potatoes

(food styling/karoline boehm goodnick; john tlumacki/globe staff)
By Christine Merlo
Globe Correspondent / December 3, 2008
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Serves 6

This is a four-layer dish of sauerkraut, all-beef hot dogs, tart apples, and mashed potatoes. Begin with a large skillet with a heatproof handle - the dish goes into the oven to brown later. Braise sauerkraut in the skillet with cider vinegar and brown sugar to make a sweet-sour mixture. Simmer potatoes for mashing, cut up the franks and apples, and assemble the dish. Sauerkraut forms the base with the franks and concentric circles of apples. Creamy mashed potatoes go on top. When they're golden, spoon the potatoes and filling onto plates and snuggle around the kitchen table.

1 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can or jar (14 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed well and drained
3 medium (2 pounds) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
3/4 cup milk, heated until hot
2 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound all-beef frankfurters, halved lengthwise, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 apples (Cortland, Granny Smith), cored and thickly sliced
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a deep 10-inch skillet with a heatproof handle.

2. In a small bowl, combine the water, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper; set aside.

3. In the skillet, heat the sauerkraut over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar mixture, stir well, and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the liquid evaporates; set aside.

4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the potatoes with cold water to cover and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer the potatoes for 10 minutes or until they are tender.

5. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. With a potato masher, beat in the milk a little at a time with 1 tablespoon of the butter, salt, and pepper. Mash until smooth.

6. Lay the frankfurters, cut sides down, in one layer on the sauerkraut. Add the apples, overlapping them to fit, if necessary. Spread the mashed potatoes on top in an even layer.

7. Dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the skillet for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


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