« on: August 07, 2010, 09:16:39 AM »
I like Johnsonville brats too; classic. If you want to make your own, Penzey's sells a good premade seasoning mix for bratwurst.
For cooking, I do it like most of you described but I think I use more onions. I take a big Le Crueset pot and use about 3 lbs of yellow onions, sliced across, about 1/4" thick, a package or two of bratwurst, and enough cream ale to fill (I usually have some leftover from beer tasting classes; Little Kings is local, but Gennie would work too). I barely simmer for about 2-3 hours, then toss them on the grill to char (dry then lightly oil for best color). I usually use onions on the grill too (don't use the beer onions, they don't taste very good). Serve on soft buns with Dusseldorf-style mustard. Great summer food.
I've tried this recipe with different types of beer, but think it's really important to use a low-bitterness beer or your meat will taste bitter. I've used maltier beers (oktoberfest, bock) with good success too. But I think I like the cream ale the best. It's a good way to use up any BMC that winds up at your house too.
I think it's a matter of personal preference how long you cook the brats. If you cook them until they're just done, they have more "pop" to them and taste more like pork and spices. If you braise them for as long as I do, they are more crumbly like well, braised meat, and have more of an onion flavor. Both are fine. Depends on what you like and how much time you have.