This idea came to me last week when I was thinking about how much I love potstickers and have always wanted to make them myself but haven't yet. For those of you unfamiliar with potstickers, they are also called Gyoza and you can find them at most teriyaki places and Chinese or Japanese restaurants. They originated from China but have been adopted by Japan over time. They are basically a round, thin piece of dough with filling inside. They are sealed up, set in a pan with both oil and water, and covered. They are steamed and fried simultaneously until they get soft and crispy. They are absolutely delicious.
As I was thinking about these, I started thinking about the other kinds of fillings that could be used for potstickers and that made me think of how much I love German food. Potsticker filling is basically ground pork, chopped cabbage, vegetables, and seasoning. Cabbage and pork are pretty much the basis of German cuisine. It was a perfect thing to combine into a potsticker. And normally I hate it when people combine two words into one in a sort of cutesy way, like "stoup" or "cronuts" but when you are using Bratwurst in a recipe, and "brat" rhymes with "pot," you sort of have to go for it. It works in this case. So, I present to you:
1 pkg. gyoza wrappers(usually found in the refrigerator section near the tofu at the grocery store. You won't use the entire package. Wrap well and use or freeze. These can also be made to make ravioli.)
1/2 can sauerkraut, not drained
2 bratwurts, casings removed (This would work with traditional brats or chicken brats. Safeway makes a fantastic chicken brat. Try it sometime, you won't regret it.)
1 tsp. caraway seeds
2/3 cup beer of choice, German preferably
Combine the sauerkraut, caraway seeds, and beer in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain well, and place in the refrigerator to cool off so you can handle it with your hands. You don't want to cook the meat at this stage, so let the sauerkraut cool off as much as you can to room temperature.
When the sauerkraut has cooled down enough to handle, place it on a large plate. Add the bratwurst and use your hands to mix together. This will take a couple minutes to combine well.
Continue with filling, wetting, and folding the gyoza until you run out of filling. I only needed some of them for my dinner so I left the rest on the sheetpan and froze them. I packed them up and will have them available the next time I crave them!
To cook the Bratstickers, place about a Tablespoon of cooking oil and a half cup of water in a frying pan. Place the Bratstickers in the pan and cover with a lid or a piece of foil, which is what I did. Bring them to a simmer. Let them simmer until the water evaporates and then remove the lid and let fry in the remaining oil. If you have ever made frozen, commercially-prepared potstickers, you will notice that these will look much different. The dough is thinner and turns almost translucent and you have to be much gentler when turning them over to fry on all sides.