Spiced Garlic Beer ‘Brats’

beer brat with dijon horseradish mustard

Even if your team doesn’t win the Super Bowl, you can still enjoy this Midwestern delicacy: pork sausage cooked in beer!  I don’t think I’m allowed to call these true Wisconsin beer brats since I cooked generic, honey-garlic pork sausages in Saskatchewan champagne, but you cannot ignore the girth and deliciousness of these juicy suckers.

old style pilsner for beer brats
Old Style Pilsner – official sponsor of the Roughriders. Yes, I know it’s the wrong league.

I’ve served these beer ‘brats’ at large, sports-influenced gatherings as the main event.  I’ve also served them without the buns as a second meat at family holiday gatherings.  Yes, it’s not a real party for my clan unless there are at least two kinds of animal flesh served.

 

Spiced Garlic Beer ‘Brats’

Adapted from Dgoodcookr on AllRecipes.com

Serves: up to 12
Time: at least 2.5 hours

  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp oil
  • 12 large, fresh/uncured sausage links (about 1200 g).
    Bratwurst is ideal, but other thick, juicy, pork sausages also work well.
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 medium onions, in slices or rings
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 cans beer of your choice
  • 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut
  • 12 buns of your choice
  • Your favourite mustard. I used a horseradish dijon.

 

  1. Put a large pot over medium heat. Lightly oil the bottom with 1 tsp oil.
  1. In batches, brown the sausages/brats on all sides for 1 minute or so per side (or just two sides if you’re lazy like me).  The goal of this step is not to cook the sausage all the way through but to exploit the Maillard reaction for bonus flavour.  Set the sausages aside on a plate.
searing sausages/brats before beer
If you have a grill pan or proper barbecue at your disposal, either works even better.
  1. Meanwhile, use a pestle and mortar to crack the mustard and cumin seeds.
  1. Re-oil the pot with another 1 tsp of oil then fry the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and garlic for 30 seconds.
mustard, cumin, garlic toasted
The cumin is a little unorthodox but I enjoyed this combination.
  1. Add the onion slices and cayenne pepper.  Stir and fry until the onions start to soften, about 5 minutes.
onion, garlic, mustard, cumin
This smells soooo nice.
  1. Deglaze the pot with a splash of the beer.
  1. Arrange the sausages/brats on top of the onions in the pot.
  1. Add the rest of the beer, or just enough to cover the sausages in liquid.  I only used 2 1/2 cans; the remaining 1/2 can I used for QA.
beer brats
This will go down a little as the hours pass.
  1. Cover the pot and bring the beer to a boil.  Once that happens, lower the heat to the lower side of medium low to keep everything boiling gently for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  1. Add the sauerkraut and bring the pot back up to a boil.  Then boil gently for at least another 1/2 hour. The total boiling time should be at least 2 hours.  Up to four is great.  Eight hours might be too much as that might zap the life out of the sausages.
beer brats sauerkraut
Ready to dish out.
  1. Lightly toast the buns immediately before serving.
  1. Use a slotted spoon to first fetch some of the onion+sauerkraut mixture onto each bun.  Then place one sausage/brat on each bun and top with mustard.
  1. Serve with a cold beer and a festive attitude. If you want to serve this with a side, I heard fries are pretty good.

 

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