First, let me say that I have not been a lover of the Bratwurst.
Folk go all mushy-gushy and claim lifelong love and devotion to some particular sausage or another, and then have specific methods for preparing said preferred tubes of seasoned meat product.
Not I – I made them because Rich likes them. Case closed.
We had a couple packets o’ brats (one a cheese brat, the other plain) in the bottom of the freezer that needed to be used, and a holiday weekend seemed the perfect time to do the deed. The weather was perfect, Rich felt like grilling, and we already had a couple of side dishes – marinated chickpeas and wicked simple beans – in the fridge.
Rich likes beer brats, and I’ve gone that route in the past – literally simmering the brats in some beer – but thought I might have a look at how others deal with them.
I should note here that we were also, around about this time, discussing exactly how BIG a jerk a certain celebrity chef is on the Facebook with our friend Barb – she comes down on the side of BIG jerk – except she doesn’t use that term, Rich and I were taking an opposing (or at least, slightly less jerk-centric) position. In the end, we all agreed that, jerk or not, we would still gladly eat at any of his restaurants if given the opportunity.
How funny is it, then, that my search of brat recipes on the Food Network site delivered me FIRST to this self same chef’s (well, one of his minions, I think) method for doing brats in beer.
And it was g-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-d.
Light dawning over Marblehead, I begin to see what folk are talking about in regard to the lowly brat. And, YES, before you start with the picketing and flaming torches, I DID have ketchup on mine – mayonnaise too! – that’s how I roll, deal with it.
•Brats – I had two packets, one a cheese brat, the other your basic brat – for 12 total
•One large onion, sliced
•3 bottles of beer – I used Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss
•4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter – THIS was getting interesting!
Pop the brats, butter, and sliced onion in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add beer to cover (this pot took three bottles) and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes until the brats are cooked. Pull the brats and the onion out of the beer and finish ‘em off on the grill (onions on a grill pan).
The minion who provided our jerk/not jerk celebrity chef the recipe, suggests that if you’re doing a LOT o’ brats, you can save the warm beer in the pot to hold those finished until you’re ready to serve. (I have also recently learned that it’s not too, too bad when sprinkled over burgers on the grill).
And I am now a fan of da brat.