Brats & Beer.... Which Beer?

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UncleVic
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2008/08/28 18:21:28 (permalink)

Brats & Beer.... Which Beer?

I'm being lazy today.. This topic may have been covered already, and if so, Mods, feel free to kill it.

But since the Holiday weekend is upon us, BRATS are a definite on the grill come Monday. I've had much success just grilling them slow and low. But with all the past discussions on beer, onions and simmering them, figure I'll give it a whirl this weekend. And no, this is not my first time doing it, but try to save the beer for me, so it's a rare occasion. I've always used a cheap beer, either Busch or Miller.
So the question be, what is your favorite brew to stew your brat in?
And if you know what your local restaurant uses, that info would be great to hear also! Along with name and location.
#1

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    Greyghost
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/28 18:59:51 (permalink)
    Uncle Vic,

    The answer is the same as with cooking with wine. Use the one you like.
    #2
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/28 20:10:49 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Greyghost

    Uncle Vic,

    The answer is the same as with cooking with wine. Use the one you like.

    I use Michelob Amber Bock for that very reason. It works for me. pb
    #3
    seatown76
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/28 20:12:48 (permalink)
    Well since the beer really doesn't come through in the final flavor of the brat itself as it adds another depth of flavor use whatever you like but I like to use a real malty beer such as a dopplebock. If you use a bitter such as an ESB (YUM Red Hook!) add a few sweet peppers or some brown sugar when simmering them as well.

    By the way are you simmering first or grilling first? I have heard of both ways but I prefer to simmer first low and slow and then finish on the grill to make that nice charred snap on the casing!
    #4
    stricken_detective
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/28 20:57:28 (permalink)
    Miller.
    #5
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/28 20:59:29 (permalink)
    I agree with porkbeaks. Go with something malty like Amber Bock. I'd avoid any beer that is loaded with hops.
    #6
    UncleVic
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/28 21:40:57 (permalink)
    Ok... Malty beer... This will be cooked for the family, so hope they all like it... Just this time, I have a craving for onions instead of kraut.. See how it works out. (Wonder if kraut cooked in the brew would be worthy also? Normally I do a gentle rinse, some cooked bacon (with a little bacon grease), onion and caraway seeds and let it simmer for an hour ~ what I call my old school kraut).

    #7
    UncleVic
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/28 21:43:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by seatown76

    Well since the beer really doesn't come through in the final flavor of the brat itself as it adds another depth of flavor use whatever you like but I like to use a real malty beer such as a dopplebock. If you use a bitter such as an ESB (YUM Red Hook!) add a few sweet peppers or some brown sugar when simmering them as well.

    By the way are you simmering first or grilling first? I have heard of both ways but I prefer to simmer first low and slow and then finish on the grill to make that nice charred snap on the casing!

    Going to simmer first this time... Sweet peppers sounds like an idea also! Didn't think of that...
    #8
    stricken_detective
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/28 22:24:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    Ok... Malty beer... This will be cooked for the family, so hope they all like it... Just this time, I have a craving for onions instead of kraut.. See how it works out. (Wonder if kraut cooked in the brew would be worthy also? Normally I do a gentle rinse, some cooked bacon (with a little bacon grease), onion and caraway seeds and let it simmer for an hour ~ what I call my old school kraut).




    My mother puts the beer (they don't drink it so they use MGD in the black can) a stick of butter, and a chopped onion & brings to a boil. You simmer low & slow like seatown said, then finish them on the grill so they get the nice snap when you bite em.

    The kraut the way you do it sounds gooooood. We put it with butter & brown sugar, but I'm all about the bacon grease. I think we are going to try your method during the next cookout.
    #9
    KonaErnie
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/28 22:35:14 (permalink)
    For a real taste treat and something different from regular kraut, try some braised red cabbage on the brats.
    #10
    cavandre
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 07:51:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    (Wonder if kraut cooked in the brew would be worthy also? Normally I do a gentle rinse, some cooked bacon (with a little bacon grease), onion and caraway seeds and let it simmer for an hour ~ what I call my old school kraut).

    I make it the same way, but after rinsing the kraut, I squeeze out as much water as I can & then add 12 oz. of beer (for 2 lbs. of kraut) to the pot.
    #11
    DougS
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 08:12:48 (permalink)
    Uncle Vic, how many Brats and how much beer will you be simmering at a time.
    I always wonder, how much beer is required for a taste of Bratwurs? The ratio is it important?
    #12
    WarToad
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 08:15:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    ... (Wonder if kraut cooked in the brew would be worthy also? Normally I do a gentle rinse, some cooked bacon (with a little bacon grease), onion and caraway seeds and let it simmer for an hour ~ what I call my old school kraut).


    The Swiss have an etherial Sauerkraut dish in which the kraut is drained and rinsed well, then very very slowly braised with thinly sliced onion, white wine, and various pork and sausage cuts.

    Pork aside, the slow braise in white wine really transforms the kraut to something completely different than what exits the jar.
    #13
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 08:39:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by WarToad

    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    ... (Wonder if kraut cooked in the brew would be worthy also? Normally I do a gentle rinse, some cooked bacon (with a little bacon grease), onion and caraway seeds and let it simmer for an hour ~ what I call my old school kraut).


    The Swiss have an etherial Sauerkraut dish in which the kraut is drained and rinsed well, then very very slowly braised with thinly sliced onion, white wine, and various pork and sausage cuts.

    Pork aside, the slow braise in white wine really transforms the kraut to something completely different than what exits the jar.


    I've prepared this dish a number of times using different meats and it always comes out great. The recipe below is from Jacques Pepin. There are many different ones to be found on Google. I made it one time using just kielbasa and bratwurst. I've never included potatoes.

    Choucroute Garnie

    Families in Alsace generally eat choucroute garnie during the wintertime, because it’s such a hearty, filling dish. I’ve adapted the recipe to make it quicker and easier—calling for store-bought sauerkraut instead of the homemade kind, for instance, and suggesting peanut oil as a substitute for duck or goose fat, which may be less accessible. I always serve two or three types of mustard with the choucroute—a hot Dijon, a grainy Pommery and often a tarragon-flavored mustard as well.

    ingredients
    1/3 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
    2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    3 pounds pork back ribs or baby back ribs, cut into 3 sections
    6 pounds sauerkraut (in plastic bags), drained
    1/4 cup duck or goose fat or peanut oil
    1 large onion, coarsely chopped
    4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
    20 juniper berries
    3 large bay leaves
    1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    3 cups chicken stock
    1 1/2 cups Riesling or Pinot Gris
    2 pounds Polish kielbasa, skinned and cut into 2-inch pieces
    10 skinless hot dogs
    One 2-pound piece of boneless boiled ham (3 to 4 inches wide), sliced 1/4 inch thick
    2 pounds medium potatoes (about 10), peeled
    Assorted mustards, for serving

    directions
    In a large, sturdy, resealable plastic bag, combine the 1/3 cup of kosher salt with the sugar. Add the pork ribs; shake well to thoroughly coat the ribs with the seasonings. Seal the bag and refrigerate the ribs overnight or for up to 24 hours.
    The next day, preheat the oven to 300°. Rinse the sauerkraut in cold water and squeeze dry. Set a large roasting pan over 2 burners on high heat and melt the duck fat. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the sauerkraut, juniper berries, bay leaves, caraway seeds, black pepper, stock and wine and bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
    Meanwhile, rinse the pork ribs under cold water and pat dry. Nestle the pork ribs in the sauerkraut and bring back to a boil over moderately high heat. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
    Remove the pork ribs from the sauerkraut. Cut down in between the ribs. Return the ribs to the sauerkraut and nestle in the kielbasa, hot dogs and ham. Cover and bake until the meats are hot, about 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
    Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water, add salt and bring to a boil over high heat; cook the potatoes until tender when pierced. Drain the potatoes and cover to keep warm.
    To serve, mound the hot sauerkraut in the center of very hot dinner plates and partially tuck in the pork ribs and the kielbasa. Arrange the hot dogs and ham around the sauerkraut. Alternatively, pile the sauerkraut on a large heated platter and garnish with the meats. Serve the choucroute with the boiled potatoes and assorted mustards.
    MAKE AHEAD The choucroute can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for 3 days. Reheat before proceeding.

    WINE In Alsace, choucroute’s traditional wine partner is either a rich, spicy Gewürztraminer or a bone-dry, crisp Riesling. However, an Alsace Gewürztraminer can actually overpower choucroute’s spicy, herby flavors and make the dish taste sweet. A better match is an Alsace Ries­-ling, which is delicately floral with an acidity that matches the sauerkraut and balances the richness of the pork. Josmeyer’s structured 2004 Le Kottabe Alsace Riesling is a great choice.
    #14
    WarToad
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 08:51:28 (permalink)
    That's the ticket Porkbeaks. I've seen a lot of variations on it, you can mix and swap all kinds of cuts into it. None the less - wonderful dish for the family.
    #15
    wmceaton
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 08:59:16 (permalink)
    I have always used a noncomplicated larger when cooking brats. Bud, Miller, Coors would work fine.

    #16
    John A
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 17:16:21 (permalink)
    porkbeaks,

    That sounds fabulous, how many does it serve?

    Thanks



    #17
    Foodbme
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 18:34:24 (permalink)
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any of the flavor of the beer penetrates the casing anyway unless the ends are open or the casing breaks. The beer adds flavor to whatever you simmer them in ala Sauerkraut, Onions, etc. I've never been able to taste any beer flavor inside the Brat UNLESS the meat was mixed with beer BEFORE being put in the casing. Johnsonville makes a Beer Brat and I believe that's how they do it or they use artificial flavors maybe. I'm gonna use the grill first, simmer second method this weekend.
    #18
    Foodbme
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 18:50:54 (permalink)
    I just Called Johnsonville Sausage Co. and here's what they told me:
    (Kinda like the Butterball Turkey Hotline!)

    1. They recommend BOILING, not Simmering the Sausages FIRST, Then you can simmer.
    2. Using any beer will only, AT BEST, add a very subtile flavor to the Sausages. Maybe no flavor at all depending on the time and method used. "MY Interpretation"- I guess that means the more robust the beer, the better your chances.

    So, add your Beer of Choice and see what happens!!!! In my opinion, there are no bad ways to cook a Brat!!
    #19
    DougS
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/29 22:41:27 (permalink)
    quote:
    Using any beer will only, AT BEST, add a very subtile flavor to the Sausages. Maybe no flavor at all depending on the time and method used.
    That being said, why waste a good beer? Just using water would give the same effect.
    #20
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/30 08:12:07 (permalink)
    I like a malty beer for this (but not bitter), but tend to use whatever is on hand.
    #21
    JFRED
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/30 08:34:49 (permalink)
    Vic..
    The cheaper the beer the better. Save the good stuff for you.
    I like adding 2 cans of beer..stick of unsalted butter and one sliced onion. Bring to a simmer, add brats...and let sit for one hour.
    I've refrigged overnite...and their better the next day.
    tc
    Jack
    #22
    UncleVic
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/30 12:27:01 (permalink)
    Thanks JFRED... See your from Brat Country! Welcome to Roadfood.
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    CajunKing
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/08/30 21:22:48 (permalink)
    Vic

    The Lanesville Jaycees also use Miller Genuine Draft, because the chairman likes MGD.

    Simmer the brats till they are nice and plump, then grill until done, to hold for service put back into a beer bath.
    #24
    santacruz
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/09/02 15:52:00 (permalink)
    Porkbeaks that is a very excellent dish (Chouricroute Garnie) There are so many meats and flavors My daughter lives near Strausboug and I can't wait to visit and try some other great Alsatian dishes. It a really great place if you like both French and German influences on your food. Also very good wines and Beers.
    #25
    Foodbme
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/09/02 16:38:28 (permalink)
    Pork Beaks,
    How many people will your Choucroute Garnie feed??? The entire Alsase Army???? Not to mention the Strausbourg National Guard??!!!!!
    #26
    stricken_detective
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/09/02 17:51:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by JFRED

    Vic..
    The cheaper the beer the better. Save the good stuff for you.
    I like adding 2 cans of beer..stick of unsalted butter and one sliced onion. Bring to a simmer, add brats...and let sit for one hour.
    I've refrigged overnite...and their better the next day.
    tc
    Jack


    Mom? lol

    Just kidding, you have a great recipe there.
    #27
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/09/02 18:06:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Foodbme

    Pork Beaks,
    How many people will your Choucroute Garnie feed??? The entire Alsase Army???? Not to mention the Strausbourg National Guard??!!!!!



    I'm not really sure how many that particular recipe will feed. I chose one at random to just give an idea of what the dish is like. Google it and choose the one that sounds right to you. I do suggest that you make sure to include an ample amount of the kraut. Some recipes don't call for that much and, after it cooks down, there just won't be enough for the leftovers. Also, the suggestion to serve a few different types of mustard is a good one. Especially so, if you use a variety of meat. pb
    #28
    Holly Moore
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/09/02 20:22:19 (permalink)
    When I lived in Stevens Point WI for a couple of years we always used Point Beer. Anything else would have been wasting beer. That was about 35 years ago, so Point Beer may have evolved since then.

    I agree that precooking the brats in beer and onions is more emotional than anything else. I've never really noticed a beer flavor - though my palette doesn't really pick up on subtleties.
    #29
    GNeedles59
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    RE: Brats & Beer.... Which Beer? 2008/09/03 08:51:41 (permalink)
    Victory's Storm King Imperial Stout
    #30
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