With the fall slowly approaching, it is brats season (well any time is brats season but you know, Octoberfest!) so I figured I would share a great recipe. Called Wisconsin soul food, beer brats are an American addition to German cuisine. By 1860, Germans were the biggest group of immigrants in Wisconsin, later to be eclipsed by Polish workers. Bratwurst became popular during the 1920s when butchers would make them fresh, to order. Always a summer cookout staple, they gradually became popular at sports arenas. That being said, brats are not just a summer food.
Beer brats are often poached in beer before grilling. This cooks the sausage and seals in the juices so the sausage stays moist. Turn with tongs to avoid piercing the skin or the juice will run out. You have your run-of-the-mill hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, obviously, but spice it up with some delicious brats! You’ll be drinking and eating anyway; just mix the two together. Some like it on a roll but you can also eat it on a plate as well.
4 cans of beer (Experiment with different flavors. I like slightly darker beers.)
1 large onion, diced
1 8oz. sauerkraut
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium to high heat. When the grill is hot, lightly oil the grate.
2. Combine the beer and onions in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Toss the brats in the beer, making sure they are completely submerged. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and cook another 10-12 minutes. Then remove the brats from the beer mixture and continue to cook the onions with the heat set to low.
3. Cook the brats on the preheated grill, turning once every 5-10 minutes.
4. Serve with the sauerkraut & onions as a topping as a side.