Bear is a carnivore--big time! So, any meat recipe is of interest. This one is loosely based on
Uncle Harry "Moose" Kelley's method of preparing bratwurst for the grill.
Start throwing stuff into the crock pot in the morning:
One, two or three onions
Peeled, then coarsely or finely chopped, sliced, minced or whatever.
Grandpa Max R. Bauer always said every good meat recipe starts with 1, 2 or 3 onions...
...depending on the price of onions.
1 bottle dark beer
Any beer will really do, but darker beers tend to add more richness.
While you're at it, you'd better sample a bottle yourself to be sure its OK for cooking use.
Never cook with something you won't drink.
1 or more cans of saurkraut
RINSED! This gets rid of some of the salt that canners pile in.
Add any sausage you care to use: kielbasa, bratwurst, hot dogs, Polish sausages, (Italian sausages?)
Bratwurst is the Kelley family tradition. Cooking brats too long, though, takes all the flavor outta them.
Tsp or so caraway seed to taste
Just sprinkle on top until it looks like Jewish rye bread.
This is Bear's addition, based on his mother's pork chop cooking method.
Add crushed cloves of garlic to taste
Throw the lid onto the crock pot, set it on high for an hour then on low until dinner time.
Sometimes the sausage looks better if grilled after boiling (a la Harry "Moose" Kelley), but that is optional.
STEW OR CHILI VERSION
Be sure the sausage has cooked well in the beer and onions before adding anything.
That way, the beer has soaked up all the sausage juices and has become fabulous in flavor.
Add beer if it ever starts to get dry.
Cut the sausage into bite-sized chunks.
Celery, pearl onions and red/green bell peppers would be good for either version.
Try adding browned ground beef, stew beef, venison, pork or veal, in addition to the sausage.
Adding potatoes near the end is GREAT! The potatoes soak up the beer juice as they cook!
This is where Bear got the idea for a stew.
Skip the caraway seed for a chili.
Add some tomato paste
A little later, add a bit of brown sugar to taste
If it looks too thick, add beer.
Try adding some sliced jalapeno peppers, chopped green chilis, chili powder or cayenne pepper.
Near the very end add beans (red kidney, Mexican chili, black beans, whatever).
If they are canned beans, rinse them thoroughly---unless they have a sauce!