(June 21, 2019) Simplicity can be complexity in its fullest degree.
A seasoned chef knows that developing the most basic recipe takes the same scrutiny if superlative results are to be achieved.
Grilled brats are as basic as it gets, but fantastic brats are another subject. If you are passionate about sausages, you might want to read on for a few pointers.
The first question that comes to mind is whether to serve the brats plain or add other ingredients for a more modern approach.
A plain bratwurst does not excite my palate, but the thought of sauerkraut makes my mouth water.
However, opening a can of sauerkraut does not meet the criteria for creativity.
Beer and brats are a perfect pairing, so I decide to marinate the sauerkraut in beer.
Chicken stock will give the marinade more depth of flavor and smooth out some of the harshness of the beer. A touch of caraway seeds will not only highlight the pork but add harmony to the overall dish.
There is nothing more beautiful than a bowl of vibrant, gorgeous peppers and earthy mushrooms. The variety of intense colors makes a spectacular presentation.
However, grilling peppers and mushrooms changes their structure and can be the demise of one’s dish if they are not careful.
When peppers and mushrooms come into contact with heat, they indirectly produce a tremendous amount of liquid. You must get rid of this liquid, or you will end up with a soggy mess.
After you have grilled the peppers, remove the seeds and stems and slice them. The mushrooms should also be sliced.
Place the sliced vegetables in a sieve and top with a small plate. Then add enough weight to the small plate so it will force the excess liquid out. Then continue your recipe as planned.
The grilling of the brats is another consideration. There are those who prefer poking a few holes in the casings and gently simmering them in water to remove the fat. Then the brats are grilled briefly to obtain the coveted char and smokiness.
I cut calories whenever possible but this particular way of cooking is not my preferred choice. The fat is the key to the bratwurst’s juiciness and taste and the removal of it promotes dryness and blandness.
I like to cook my bratwursts covered, turning them occasionally so they do not burn. They should be done in approximately 20 minutes depending on the temperature of your grill. I always test one just to be on the safe side.
Whether or not to toast the bun is a matter of personal preference. If you decide to toast your buns, remember they will cook very quickly. The temperature of a grill averages between 450 and 550 degrees.
Grilled brats with grilled peppers and marinated sauerkraut is a mouthful of deliciousness.
Do not be afraid to pile on the toppings, this is not a time for cutting calories. In fact, the abundance of toppings adds to the taste and presentation.
If you are having a hard time wrapping your mouth around one of these bad boys, you know you did a great job. Enjoy!
1 (14 ½ oz.) can shredded sauerkraut, drained
1 (12 oz.) can favorite beer
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 large red bell peppers
2 large yellow peppers
2 large orange bell peppers
4 poblano peppers
8 ounces baby portobellas
1 red onion
good quality olive-oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Grilled Bratwurst Sausages
12 bratwurst sausages
12 hot dog rolls
1. Combine sauerkraut ingredients and marinate for 1 hour. Strain mixture through a sieve and set aside until ready to use.
2. Prepare gas or charcoal grill for grilling. Make sure the level of heat is in the 450 to 550-degree range.
3. Grill peppers, portobellas, and onion. Again, you want to achieve a nice char but at the same time try to keep the vegetables slightly al dente.
4. Remove the seeds and the stems of the peppers, slice thinly, and place in a large sieve. Slice the mushrooms and onion into thin slivers and add to the sieve.
5. Place a small plate on top of the vegetables and something that has substantial weight on top of saucer. This will remove the excess liquid and promote more concentrated flavors.
6. Place vegetables in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil and salt. Set aside.
7. Cook bratwursts covered to keep them juicy. Total cooking time should take about 20 minutes. Make sure they are done and obtain a good char.
8. Presentation: place bratwurst in hot dog roll. Add sauerkraut and top with pepper mixture. Repeat this process for the remaining bratwursts.
* Serve 4 to 6
Secret Ingredient – Imagination. “I do not stick to rules when cooking, I rely on my imagination.”