Beer Braised Brats
Ok, I must fess up, I'm from Wisconsin AND I have a Meat & Animal Science degree. I know a little something about cooking brats. In Wisconsin, we braise our brats first and usually in beer and onions. Here is why this works: 1. Natural casings are permeable and easily pick up flavors from the braise. 2. It reduces charring of brats because the fat film typically found on outside of fresh meat brats melts into the braising liquid. 3. And it reduces grill time because brats are fully cooked before they hit the grill.
When I make these brats, people say... "what did you do!"?
Which beer to use? I typically use an ale.
- Onion - 1 yellow, peeled and sliced
- Butter - 3 tablespoons
- Mustard seed - 1 teaspoon
- White peppercorns - 1/2 teaspoon
- Fennel seed - 1/2 teaspoon
- Beer - 2 (12) ounce bottles
- Water - To cover brats in pan
- Brats - 4, fresh meat
- In a straight sided pan, saute sliced onion in butter until onion is soft and translucent.
- In a small mortar and pestle, add mustard seed, white peppercorns and fennel seed. Grind or pound until seeds have been bruised or broken. Add to onions in pan.
- Add beer to onions and spices, simmer without the brats for 15-20 minutes. You want the liquid (beer) to become infused with the onion and spices.
- Add brats to pan and add enough water to cover brats. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce burner to low. Simmer brats for 30 minutes turning them on occasion. Do not allow liquid to boil or casings may split. (Not a good thing!)
- Either finish brats on grill or refrigerate and grill later. Grill brats just long enough to heat through and add grill marks.