Beer + Brown Sugar Crockpot Kielbasa


For Easter breakfast, my dad, sister and I headed to Screen Door in the Kerns neighborhood of Southeast Portland. This is the second weekend in a row I’ve been there for breakfast.

Screen Door is perhaps most known for their chicken and sweet potato waffle dish. We saw about 7 to 9 of these dishes carried out to the small patio area where we were sitting in the hour we were there. Three deep-fried breaded chicken breasts are piled onto a sweet potato waffle. A steak-knife stuck vertically through the chicken and waffle holds the dish together like a big toothpick as it’s being carried out and presented.

While we didn’t have the chicken and waffles, we did have our fill of pancakes, French toast and eggs Benedict with a lemon and cream cheese brioche bun as our starter. Despite the outlandish breakfast I knew we were going to be having this morning, my dad still wanted an Easter dinner.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the traditional dishes our family serves for Easter (ham, sarma and/or lamb). So instead we agreed to make Polish sausage. Polish sausage has always been a tradition on my mom’s side of the family anyway.

Then as my dad and I were walking through my neighborhood on the 75-degree Portland Saturday afternoon, we saw the church that serves Pierogies every Saturday. Though Pierogies are not a traditional Easter dish, they are another traditional meal made by my maternal grandmother. So we decided to make our own Pierogies as well. (Well, I decided to make Pierogies after my dad suggested we buy some from the church. Dad, what’s the point of having a food blog if you’re not going to buy the food instead of making it?)

I found a recipe similar to this while perusing the internet and had very high hopes for it. I ended up being predictably disappointed though. More about that later.



  • 6 oz beer (can or bottle)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 1/2 lb fresh Polish kielbasa
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 14.5 oz sauerkraut, drained


  1. Combine the beer and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar melts and the mixture is slightly thickened; set aside.
  2. Cut the kielbasa into links and brown over medium high heat. Place in a slow cooker. Cover with the drained sauerkraut and onion. Pour the beer and brown sugar mixture over top. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Serve on its own or in a hoagie roll.

I do not like sweet tasting meat. I know this about myself. Why oh why would I try a recipe for meat made out primarily brown sugar? Note to self, in the future avoid these types of recipes.

On top of not liking the flavor, I didn’t care much for the texture. After six hours in the crockpot (four on low, two on high), the sausages were rather soft. Almost falling apart. That’s not the texture I want for my sausage. Sausage is meant to hold up when you sink your teeth into it. It’s not meant to melt right into the bun. I wouldn’t make this recipe again. But if you like sweet meat that falls apart, you should definitely try it.

Recipe rating: 


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