My favorite dish for grilling or a tailgate party takes only a little more effort than plain hot dogs but is so much more delicious. Bratwursts are usually precooked, like hot dogs, so grilling crisps them up and makes them juicy. A quick, homemade sauerkraut is also very easy to make; I like mine a little sweet and spicy. I’ve infused the whole dish with warm spices — mustard, coriander, ginger, and caraway — to make your guests sit up and take notice. This dish is better than your average dog!–Bobby Flay
LC Boozy Brats Note
We can’t consider any other kind of brats besides boozy brats, whether the beer functions as a means to imbue the links with even more flavor or just serves as a means of washing them down. Can you? Although this method may take a few minutes more of your patience than the open-beer-and-sip alternative, we think you’ll find it well worth the wait.
Beer-Simmered Bratwurst with Onions and Sauerkraut
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H
- Serves 4
- For the sauerkraut
- 2 cups red wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large head red cabbage, cored and thinly shredded
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the bratwurst
- 3 large onions, thinly sliced
- 3 pounds precooked bratwurst, pricked with a fork
- Six 12-ounce bottles dark beer
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
- Hot dog buns, hoagie buns, or bratwurst buns
- Various mustards (I like spicy brown, sweet-hot, and coarse-grain)
- Make the sauerkraut
- 1. Combine the vinegar, water, and sugar in a large saucepan (not aluminum or cast-iron), bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
- 2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the cabbage is soft, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The sauerkraut can be made up to 2 days in advance, cooled, covered, and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and drain before serving.)
- Make the bratwurst
- 3. Meanwhile, arrange the onion slices on the bottom of a medium stock pot. Place the bratwurst on top and add the beer, water, coriander, caraway, mustard seeds, and ginger. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- 4. When ready to serve, heat your grill to high.
- 5. Lift the sausages out of the pot. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl. Discard the remaining liquid and aromatics.
- 6. Grill the sausages until crisp and golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. If you like, grill the buns until lightly toasted. Serve the bratwurst on the buns with sauerkraut, onions, and mustard.
Recipe Testers Reviews
Living in Wisconsin, we’re lucky to have access to amazing brats, so I had had to test this recipe. Usually when cooking brats I give them more of a Portuguese twist. I did not use the six bottles as four were more than enough to cover the brats. I used both pork and turkey brats. All of them came out fantastic, even the turkey. The onions had an amazing taste as you could discern all of the spices. I’m glad I didn’t get a large cabbage as per the recipe; even with a medium size one, we still have a lot of leftovers. I ended up adding 1 tbsp more of sugar, as when I first tasted it I felt it was a bit too sour for my taste. This may be a personal preference. All in all this is a great recipe and works amazingly well. The sauerkraut was the best I’ve ever had. The beer I used was a Black Strap Stout from a local brewery, East End Brewing Company.