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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: loopy on November 12, 2009, 04:16:52 AM

Title: brats
Post by: loopy on November 12, 2009, 04:16:52 AM
I do this bratwurst recipe about half a dozen times a year, never had a single complaint.

buy a pack or two of brats, I like the johnsonville beer brats as the general standard but especially like the HEB deli brats that are chicken poblano.  gather up 1 large yellow onion, a jalapeno, 1 bottle of beer (I like shiner or nukey brown, my dad uses budwesier), 1 stick of butter - real butter.  1 aluminum disposable tin, in the little rectangle shape. 

get the grill up to about 400 or so and put the tin over the fire.  drop in the stick of butter, the sliced onions, the jalapeno, and any salt/spices of the day and get the onions cooking. 

place the brats on the grill and let them cook, about 4-5 minutes each on all 4 sides, turning to maintain even cooking.  By then the butter should be boiling along and the onions translucent.  pour your beer into the tin, then drink one yourself for good measure.  take the brats off the hot part of the grill and set them back in an indirect heat area.  They should be golden brownish - its ok if they blacken up a bit in some spots, they come out fine either way. 

When the beer has heated up and the brats are fully cooked (maybe another 7-8 minutes from pouring the beer in), take the brats and put them in the bath.  let them simmer along for any amount of time from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. 

--
serve brats with sauteed onions on top with mustard on the side.  I like to layout 4 or 5 different mustards and try them all.  goes well with dark malty beer (shiner, flensburger, newcastle, etc), but I could see a Seierra Nevada as well easily. 

great football food. 
Title: Re: brats
Post by: BrewArk on November 12, 2009, 05:22:46 PM
Oh yeah, brats in beer.  I don't think it's legal to have them any other way (at least it shouldn't be) :)
Title: Re: brats
Post by: redbeerman on November 12, 2009, 06:07:03 PM
I usually cook the brats in beer before I grill them.  Of course I like mine cooked until they're crispy on the outside.  Doing it the other way around would kind of mess that up.
Title: Re: brats
Post by: euge on March 28, 2010, 05:44:10 PM
I like'em smoked for a few hours. Brats handle it pretty good if you start with raw sausage.

If they get braised in onion-n-beer a nice crusty roll is nice to have plus some kraut.
Title: Re: brats
Post by: mnstorm99 on June 03, 2010, 11:45:38 AM
I usually cook the brats in beer before I grill them.  Of course I like mine cooked until they're crispy on the outside.  Doing it the other way around would kind of mess that up.

+1 to the nice crispy outside on my brat.

I do, 1-2 onion and enough beer to cover the brats boiled then simmered until the brats are "just" cooked through.  Then grill them until they have the perfect outside texture.  I am just not a fan of the grill 'em then soak 'em method, but have had this argument with my buddies before :)
Title: Re: brats
Post by: bluesman on June 03, 2010, 01:17:43 PM
Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I simmer my brats in beer and onions for about an hour until fork tender then grill until crispy and caramelized.
Title: Re: brats
Post by: Slowbrew on June 03, 2010, 08:46:47 PM
We cook the brats in beer before we grill them.  We are currently using an absolutely awful Strawberry Ale I made for boiling brats.  It tastes better on the sausages than it did in the glass.

We also chop up sweet yellow onions (fairly big chucks) and place them in foil with butter and seasoned salt.  Maybe a little black and/or red pepper, close up the foil tight and throw it on the shelf in the grill for around 40 to 50 minutes.

The onions come out nice and soft and oh so tasty.

Paul
Title: Re: brats
Post by: joelambic on June 13, 2010, 07:22:05 PM
I'm also in the cook in beer then grill camp.  I have made a brat hot tub out of beer and the onions to use as a holding tank at parties where people tend to forget they've left something on the grill.  It keeps the onions warm and saves a brat from getting burned until its owner can claim it.

For toppings, I like a good Dusseldorf or similar mustard with grilled onions or sauerkraut on a crusty roll.  No mushy, white bread hot dog or sausage rolls for me.
Title: Re: brats
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on June 13, 2010, 08:10:53 PM
My brat method is pretty similar to what others have said.  I like to quarter an onion or two and add it to a 50:50 mix of beer/water.  I put the brats in and bring to a gentle simmer.  When the brats aren't all the way cooked through, I grill them over hardwood charcoal until they they're nicely browned and crispy on the outside.  The inside will have finished cooking through on the grill and they end up being crispy on the outside and really tender on the inside.  As for toppings, spicy mustard and kraut is always a winner.  But I also like to top my brats with a simple chutney of caramelized apples and onions (of course, I still slather the bun with mustard even when topping with chutney!).
Title: Re: brats
Post by: gordonstrong on August 07, 2010, 04:16:39 PM
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.
Title: Re: brats
Post by: alemental on August 08, 2010, 09:07:15 AM
Gordon,
 You have it right with the "barely simmering" idea. Sausages should never be boiled. Boiling toughens the skin and just plain cooks them too fast.
The only other thing I have to add is my onion technique; I slice a big sweet onion about 1/2" thick, push 3 toothpicks in the edges to hold it together, rub it with olive oil, then brown it on the grill until mostly cooked, but still firm in the center. When done, slice it in half and smother the brat in onion strips. For burgers, the whole slice of onions gets put on. Onion fest!
Beer for cooking, beer while cooking, beer after cooking.
Title: Re: brats
Post by: gordonstrong on August 08, 2010, 06:28:31 PM
Good tips. Skewering the onions keeps them from separating to rings while on the grill.  First time you go to flip them, they'll fall apart otherwise.  If you don't slice them thick enough, they'll also fall apart.

Yes, that's exactly the technique I use, and how I serve them.  Grilled onions this way are great on brats but also with steaks and probably dozens of other things.  If you're going to make a salsa or something, it's in interesting twist to do it with charred vegetables (tomatoes, onions, peppers).  Gives it a totally different flavor than pico de gallo.
Title: Re: brats
Post by: bluesman on August 09, 2010, 08:31:15 PM
A really nice Bavarian meal:

Grilled Brats as described above
Stone Ground Mustard (preferably Inglehoffer)
Lentils (sauteed with diced onion, carrot and fresh herbs)
Pretzels (Bavarian style)
Octoberfest (your favorite Marzen Recipe) - http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=3006.0

 ;)
Title: Re: brats
Post by: redbeerman on August 12, 2010, 07:48:55 PM
Brats / mustard, cheese and hard bread
Fried red cabbage (mmm bacon drippings)
German potato salad (deli style (cold) or hot either is fine by me)
Helles or pils
Title: Re: brats
Post by: Me on August 12, 2010, 08:06:32 PM
This is not a good thread to read around lunch time....
Title: Re: brats
Post by: alemental on August 12, 2010, 10:11:16 PM
OK, that's all I can take. I just ran to the meat market & picked up some brats. The dough (sorta half way between ciabatta and French bread) for some buns is in a slow ferment right now.
Gonna be a-cookin tomorrow.