Well, here I am in Switzerland, on 1 August, Swiss National Day, and a friend has been kind enough to donate some genuine Kalbsbratwurst to the culinary coffers.
The word ‘genuine is important because in 2007 it was awarded PGI (go to this link to see a full explanation) but it needs to be made in a certain way; also unlike most sausages which contain bread Kalbsbratwurst can only contain veal, a little bacon and some fresh milk; and it must come from a clearly defined geographic region in St Gallen (it’s in the North-East of Switzerland, not far from Austria).
It’s very traditional to serve Kalbsbratwurst on Swiss National Day, crisped up on a ridged barbeque grill and served with a Bürli roll…. Some thick, glossy brown gravy, and fried onions. Other successful accompaniments might be mustard (frankly, they are a bit bland as sausages go); or, again, authentically, a rich onion sauce and/or rösti.
They’re good with red cabbage.
What is a Bürli roll? Well, these come also from St Gallen. They’re large, crumbly, crunchy, slightly crisp and they go very well with the Kalbsbratwurst.
How to make onion sauce to go with Kalbsbratwurst
You can make the authentic onion sauce by lightly frying a couple of onions, then adding a generous knob of butter and a tablespoon of flour. Cook for a couple of minutes, and then add a teaspoon each of mustard and tomato paste. Slowly add half a cup (120 ml) of red vermouth and a cup (240 ml) of beef stock – ideally real, otherwise made with a couple of beef stock cubes. Simmer about twenty minutes, until the sauce is thick, unctuous and reduced to about two-thirds of its previous volume.