Do you ever feel alive? Like truly alive? I’m not talking about jumping out of a plane, or your wedding day, or watching the World Series from the dugout… I’m talking about those little moments.
For me it’s hiking with the boy and his dog, hearing a melody that gives me shivers, giving someone a hug and meaning it, seeing a sunrise like it’s for the first time, drinking a beer that makes my taste buds dance, smiling at someone that you can tell needed it. I bring this up, because in making this dish, I was standing over a pan of peppers and onions, and another with beer and brats, and taking in the smells, I thought, “Man, this is living.” I love those little moments, the ones that they don’t make cards about, that can’t be truly captured, those tiny, fleeting, beautiful moments. That’s why I love cooking. And that’s why I do this blog.
Sorry for waxing poetic… it’s just one of those days 🙂
Now give me the meat and beer!
This recipe is pretty straight forward. You’ll wanna marinate those lumps of meaty goodness in beer overnight – don’t miss that step.
For the beer I’d go with a beer that’s more malt forward than hop. I like the sweetness it imparts without getting too beery, if you know what I mean. A nice amber will do the trick.
The sweet sauerkraut steals the show. I’ve been using this topping for sometime now and every time it rocks my world. I’m thinking it’s the caraway seeds. Seriously, how good are those little dudes? They seems to be relegated to lasagna duty, but I think they need to find their way into other dishes. It’s taken from Better Homes & Gardens.
I did all the cooking inside, due to technical grill difficulties, so the recipe reflects stovetop and oven directions. If you’re doing this on the grill, which I hope you will, preheat the grill to medium, place your sauerkraut foil packet on the grill and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes. Grill brats for approximately 8-10 minutes, or longer if you like those puppies burnt, turning frequently.
These are yummy, messy, and best with sips of delicious beer enjoyed in between bites. Please don’t let the pictures sway you, you have no idea how hard it is to make meat and sauerkraut look delicious!
Beer Brats with Sweet Sauerkraut
For the Brats
6 uncooked Bratwursts (Johnsonville Cheddar works for me!)
6 good quality steak or submarine rolls
2 12-ounce beers, I used Old Scratch from Flying Dog
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
your favorite mustard, I love a thick, grainy, beer mustard
For the Sweet Sauerkraut:
1 tablespoon butter
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon spicy brown, or Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
For the Brats:
Puncture brats with fork several times. In a large plastic container combine brats and beer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In a large saucepan combine beer soaked brats, beer and apples. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, covered for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally.
Remove brats from beer/apple mixture. Heat oil over medium heat. Add brats and cook for approximately 6 minutes, turning continually.
For the Sweet Sauerkraut:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small skillet, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add green pepper and onion. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in brown sugar, mustard, and caraway seed. Add sauerkraut; toss to mix.
Tear off a 36×18-inch piece of heavy foil. Fold in half to make a double thickness of foil that measures 18×18 inches. Place sauerkraut mixture in center of foil. Bring up two opposite edges of foil and seal with double fold. Then fold remaining ends to completely enclose sauerkraut mixture, leaving space for steam to build.
Place packet on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and keep sealed.
To serve, split buns, throw those smoking hot brats in the middle, slather with sauerkraut mixture, and douse with mustard. Don’t forget to grab some napkins!