Hearty is the name of the game when it comes to the taste, but easy is what this one-sheet-pan-wonder is really all about.
Warm up the earthy-sweet flavor of beets with caraway, the seeds that make rye bread taste like rye bread, and serve them alongside juicy brats. With the swipe of one flavor, you'll feel like your vegetables could be in the Black Forest.
Brats in a Swiss Chard Blanket
Bratwurst is a German sausage made from beef, pork, or veal, and they are often available precooked or uncooked. When recooked they look like hot dogs, and when uncooked they look like extra-chubby, extra-long breakfast sausages. Both are often grilled. The bratwurst for this recipe are uncooked pork-based sausages, available at most grocery stores in the meat section.
They're wrapped in layers of Swiss chard, which keep the sausages juicy. This little trick solves an age-old problem with these thick German sausages, ensuring that they get cooked thoroughly but don't burn on the outside. The brats also release their flavors into the chard and vice versa, and into the potatoes, as well, making one happy, filling meal.
Sheet Pan Bratwurst, Beets, and Chard
Serves 4 to 5
olive oil, divided
Swiss chard, thick center stems removed
uncooked pork bratwurst sausages (about 1 1/2 pounds)
small red potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
golden beets (about 8 medium), trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 1/2 teaspoons
freshly ground black pepper
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil on a rimmed baking sheet and brush or rub with a paper towel to coat the entire surface.
Place 2 or 3 large chard leaves on the baking sheet in a rough rectangle whose width equals the length of your sausage (usually about 6 inches), overlapping the leaves so there are no holes. Place 1 sausage at one end of the rectangle and roll the chard around it, ending seam-side down. It will not be flat or neat. Slide the sausage roll to a corner of the pan. Repeat with all the chard and sausages, tucking them next to each other.
Place the potatoes in a row next to the chard-wrapped sausages. Place the beets next to the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes and beets with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the beets with the caraway seeds. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over the beets and potatoes and gently toss, keeping the beets separate from the potatoes.
Roast until the bratwursts are cooked through and the tip of sharp knife pierces both the beets and potatoes easily, 40 to 50 minutes.
Trimming the chard: An easy way to remove the spines from green leafy vegetables is to fold the leaf in half down the spine (as if you were closing a book). Place the folded leaf on a work surface and, with a sharp knife, slice as close to the spine as you can and discard.
Tender greens: The greens will get very crisp, but if you want to keep them soft, cover the half of the tray with the bratwursts with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes of the roasting time.
Beet cooking time: If the beets are taking longer than the potatoes or bratwursts, cover the sections that are ready with aluminum foil.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.