Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wisconsin Beer Brats

There is so much misinformation out there on how to properly cook beer brats. There's a Bobbly Flay recipe out there that commits nearly all the cardinal sins but because he's the "grill guy", I'm sure everyone thinks it's correct.

First big mistake that "the pros" tells you to do is boil the brats in beer. Never, EVER boil brats. Ever. You will burst their casings. Instead, you need to warm the beer up first, THEN place the brats in it once you've reduced it to a very low simmer.

Second is garnishes - never put yellow mustard on a brat. The correct accompaniment is Düsseldorf mustard (brown or dijon works as well).

Third is buns - hot dog buns are not an acceptable substitute. If you can't find brat buns, make them.

Lastly, this is a simple dish. There is no need for soy sauce, chili sauce, etc. in your batter (the mix of onions and beer). If you have good brats, they should speak for themselves. Don't ruin them with fussy preparation.

Wisconsin Beer Brats

1 white onion, sliced and divided
2 bottles of beer
1 package uncooked bratwurst (generally 4-6 per package)
1 package brat buns

Place beer and half the sliced onion in crockpot or dutch oven. Heat until beer is warm and very gently simmering. Add in uncooked bratwurst. Cook on low until you're ready to grill.

Heat grill to medium. Grill brats for about 10 minutes, browning on all sides. While brats are cooking, sautee up the remaining onion in some olive oil or butter and sprinkle with paprika while sauteeing for a bit of flavor.

Serve with sauteed onion, mustard, relish and whatever else strikes your fancy. I'm a purist, so there's no ketchup on my brat (or hot dog).

We actually had a mix of turkey brats and jalapeno brats from a local butcher. I served them with oven fries and a salad. Yum.

Wine pairing: Beer! I prefer local microbrews but if you feel like slumming it, there's always Miller High Life (the champagne of beers) or MGD.

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