Ah, marriage. Yin and yang. Passion and attorneys. It’s an institution, a marathon, the Titanic, and heaven.
My marriage to Brian works because our contrasts balance. He’s optimistic. I’m Jewish. He’s impulsive. I’m careful. He spends. I save. We succeed because we have agreed to never watch The Titanic with all those people dying. And for other reasons.
Sometimes, the roles switch. I become the impulsive one. Brian usually understands although this time he did not. He could not. He’s not Jewish. He did not grow up in New York. He thinks a “brat” is a nasty kid, not a culinary treasure.
I saw this recipe and announced in a flash that we were doing it. Brian is not a “cook in beer” guy and I’m not either. Except now I am. I really am.
This dish has everything I could want. Brats cooked in beer with a ton of onions. It’s not just comfort food. It is “the” comfort food.
Do yourself a favor, a great and monumental favor and try this lovely dish. And, for the brats, go for the best. We are fortunate to have Fleischer’s organic meat market in Kingston near us upstate. Great brats. Better with beer. Best with beer and onions.
One Pot Brats
Yield: 10 brats for 10-5 people
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 12-ounce bottles of dark beer
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 10 brats
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 10 buns that will hold a brat [if you are bunning it!]
Preheat your grill to medium-high.
Place a foil roasting pan on the grill. Add the oil and then the onions and cook, stirring until tender, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the beer, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and add the brats. Close the lid and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the brats from the beer bath and place the brats directly on the grill to finish browning.
Pour off the most of the beer from the foil, add the butter, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and cook the onions a bit more to serve on the brats. You’ll stop short of the point of disintegration.
Brown the buns on the grill, then add a brat to each bun and top with some of the onion stuff.
Source: Just Grill This! by Sam Zien, the Cooking Guy
On your table, everything counts. Even the small things should contribute to the meal, and those “small things” can have big effects. Adding contrast in colors and flavors is a world-wide strategy that all cultures embrace.
Mexican cuisine is especially adept at making the most of additions to the table. Think of salsas, guacamole, … You may have enjoyed a side dish of Mexican pickled onions and wondered at the complexity of flavors you tasted. This recipe, from Culinary Mexico by Daniel Hoyer, offers an explanation that tasty barrage. The careful addition of properly prepared spices elevates the onions to a focal point for your plate.
These pickled onions will keep for months in your refrigerator, ready to brighten many a meal. As a side dish, or as an adornment for say a great steak, nothing can top this tangy addition.
Pickled Red Onions
1 cup vinegar (apple cider, rice, or pineapple)
½ cup water
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon whole allspice, toasted
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, toasted
4 whole cloves
1 2-inch piece canela
4 bay leaves, toasted
1 or 2 sprigs of fresh thyme and/or marjoram
1 habanero chili, lightly charred (optional)
2 tablespoons piloncillo or raw sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tangerine or orange, unpeeled
3 large red onions, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds or strips
Place everything except the onions in a nonreactive sauce. Bring to a boil and cook for 7 minutes. Remove the orange and reserve.
Put the onions in a bowl. Pour the hot mixture over the onions and stir well.
Juice the orange and add the juice to the bowl of onions. Stir again to ensure that the onions are completely submerged. Stirring several more times, cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.
[If canning, add the orange juice, skip the cooling, pour into the canning jars, and follow canning instructions for heating and sealing].
Before serving, allow the onion to warm to room temperature. They will taste better.
Source: Culinary Mexico by Daniel Hoyer