Melissa Elsmo

I am usually pretty “go with the flow” when it comes to rain, blizzards, or excessive heat, but spring was so delayed this year that even I started to long for a warm day and a little more sunshine. Yesterday the temperature soared to a balmy 60 degrees and I couldn’t wait to bust out the charcoal and roll out the grill. 

What made the menu for our first cook-out of the season?  

My grandma’s Wisconsin-style beer brats, of course.

My grandparents lived steps away from Lambeau field in Green Bay and were well-known for hosting popular Packer pre-game parties on their driveway. My grandma’s beer brats can be grilled in advance and were always ready and waiting in her enormous Nesco roaster on a card table in the garage. The brats, swimming in beer, studded with onions and bay leaves smelled divine and tasted even better; they are one of my all time favorite party foods because they are easily eaten on a lawn-chair sitting in the sun. And that’s exactly the sort of thing I’ve been craving!

Cook up a batch of Grandma Ginny’s Beer Brats to welcome the warmer weather in delicious and easy way!

Welcome Spring!

Grandma Ginny’s Beer Brats

For the Brats:

  • 8-10 fresh bratwurst sausages (I use Johnsonville because that’s what my Grandma would have used, but you can pick out whatever brats you like the best)
  • 3 Bottles of Miller High Life; the champagne of beers
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 medium white onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 bay leaves

To Serve:

  • Brat/Sausage Buns
  • Warmed Sauerkraut
  • Sweet Pickle Relish
  • Minced white onion
  • Brown mustard

Prepare a medium-hot charcoal or gas grill. Personally I cook on charcoal and always prepare an indirect fire for sausages in case of unexpected flare ups; it is easier to move them to the cool side of the grill. 

While the fire is ashing over, par-cook the bratwurst. Place the brats in a large sauce pan and pour the 3 beers over the sausages. Add the garlic, onion, and the bay leaves to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook gently for 12-14 minutes.

Remove  the brats from the beer bath and place each link on the grill. Sear on all sides until deeply golden brown and crispy. Retun the finished brats to the beer bath and hold until ready to serve.

To serve: Place the brat on a bun and garnish as desired. My favorites include kraut, sweet relish, white onion, and brown mustard!

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