I’m not sure I would classify this past weekend’s cooking adventures as a success or not, a success I think.
It started on Friday night when I called Jacob to ask him what he wanted for dinner. Jacob is pretty easy going, so at first I couldn’t really get anything out of him, but he finally succumbed and said he would like bratwurst. Hmm… I knew I was in trouble. First off, his dad just cooked brats while they were camping and he loved them. (You know how everything tastes so good when you are camping?)
Second when I asked him about the type of brats, the method, boiled and grilled, etc, he said he didn’t have any clue, just that they “were awesome”. Third, I’ve never made bratwurst before… oh crap, I’ve been here before!
Meanwhile I had this desire to make cornbread because I’ve never made it before and I was feeling pretty confident that I might be able to actually bake something without it being a miserable failure… I’m not much of a baker. (Post coming later this week!)
First stop, the Internet. I looked around for bratwurst recipes and found a few different methods and a fair amount of arguing about the best way to make them. Boil, don’t boil, only beer, water and beer, onion, no onions, grill only, boil and grill. Whew, well forget it. I’ll just pick the first recipe and go from there. Big mistake!
I followed the recipe perfectly which resulted in overcooked brats. The only thing that worked was the oven fries, but Nancy made those, so I guess I can’t take credit for them. I’m not sure how I had such a large loss of cooking common sense, but I will use the excuse that we were really busy at work on Friday and my brain was fried. Oh and the cornbread… three versions and two different types of cornmeal. More on that later.
Fast forward to Saturday. We had a wedding catering that I needed to prepare food for during the day, but I didn’t have to work the wedding that night. I told Jacob that I would attempt to make the brats again after work and that he could help me put together the new smoker as well.
While I’m grilling food for the wedding I get a call. Jacob wants a ride, when I’m done, to his friends’ house so he can hang out with them for a few hours. At first I was bummed out, but then I realized that he is 17 years old. When I was 17 years old I didn’t want to be seen anywhere near my parents much less cook with them. So I did the next best thing, I dropped him off and then stopped at the store and bought a HUGE bag of Peanut Butter M&M’s and went home to watch the Olympics, cook more cornbread and pig out! I figured with the Olympics being over on Sunday I better get as much food in as possible since I wouldn’t have any excuses for not working out.
Fast forward to Sunday night. More cornbread and more brats. This time I paid a bit more attention to the recipes I dug up and came up with a fairly successful adaptation. We will try them again soon with beef bratwurst instead of pork.
Sorry about the picture… it’s not the best. I take three steps forward and then two back, but I’m heading in the right direction I think.
Beer & Bratwurst (serves 4 – 6)
- 8 links fresh bratwurst (uncooked)
- 4 bottles of beer, Guinness or your favorite
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 8 hot dog buns or hoagie rolls
- Brown mustard
Preheat grill to medium high heat. Add beer to saucepan along with sliced onions. Bring liquid to boil. Add bratwurst and cook for 10 minutes. You can check the temp with an instant read thermometer, looking for 160 degrees.
Remove from liquid and grill, turning often for 5 or 6 minutes total. The sausages are already cooked so you are just looking to give them a nice browned, grilled exterior.
Place brat on bun, add mayonnaise, mustard and sauerkraut and devour! You could also add chopped bell peppers or sliced white onions.
All suggestions welcome on this one, comment away!