Friday, February 16, 2007

Wisconsin Style Bratwurst

We made this awhile ago, on the highly acclaimed Superbowl Sunday, but I neglected to post about it until now. So sue me -- I was busy making other tasty meat dishes (and a few healthy things on the side.) I can't believe we ate bratwurst, chicken wings, guacamole, and bean dip all in one day, by the way. Ridiculous amounts of food. At least it rocked: that's all I'm watching football for anyhow!
This is actually not my recipe, and I didn't take any part in the actual cooking of the brat: it's all D on this one. He did a fantastic job and I even ate some of it. Being a beer-hater, it's pretty difficult to get me to go near anything even beer-related, but this brat was tasty and awesome. Even though it had touched beer. Been soaked in beer, as a matter of fact. I'll give you his two recipes: one for bratwurst that has been pre-cooked, and one for brats that are raw.

Wisconsin Style Bratwurst
Ok. First you get some tasty brats. Don't let anyone try to talk you into getting pre-cooked turkey brats (as I did for the Superbowl: I wanted to be as healthy as possible! Besides, they didn't even have regular ones anyhow!) You might need to just hop in the car and drive to Wisconsin for this, actually -- skip the cooking and get right down to the eating. If at all possible, hit the Brat Stop at the corner of Highway 50 and I-94 in Kenosha. We went there during a weekend getaway in Wisconsin and it was awesome, although there was a slight issue with the coffee: be careful when you pour. Otherwise, you'll end up with sticky feet and burned hands. But they do give you the full pot and sit it right on your table, which is something that I always appreciate.
If the bratwursts are pre-cooked or smoked, put them into a heavy-bottomed frying pan and add a little beer (something that you'd enjoy drinking, tasty beer.) It should be enough beer to cover the bottom of the pan easily. Place a lid on the pan and cook over a medium heat for about five to seven minutes, turning occasionally with tongs.
Remove the cover and add 1/2 a sliced onion, cut into skinny strips. Continue cooking, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates. Make sure you turn the bratwurst frequently with the tongs so it browns evenly. Remove the bratwurst from the pan and continue to cook the onions. Slather both sides of a roll -- for this, we used a loaf of French bread cut into pieces, then halved -- with some nice whole seed mustard and put the bratwurst in the bun. Top with the caramelized onions and serve, with a beer on the side of the same variety that you cooked the bratwurst in.
If the brats aren't pre-cooked, then you're in for a real treat. D says that you should cook these without any girls that don't like beer around, then make sure they taste the bratwurst after it's cooked so that they'll realize how great beer is. That isn't going to happen, but a boy can dream! Add the uncooked brats to a large pot and cover with sliced onions and a pat of butter. Add several beers to the pot until bratwurst and onions are completely covered and put over a medium-high heat. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the bratwursts to a hot grill and cook until browned, then place in a roll slathered with whole grain mustard. Top with the cooked onions. This, D says, is the real way to cook a bratwurst.

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