Saturday, March 3, 2012
Bratwurst with Beer and Cabbage
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...There was a period of years, actually decades, when I refused to let sausage of any type cross my lips. I blame that on that on my ill-spent childhood and a completely unplanned encounter with alcohol when I was all of 4 years old. The neighbors had all come together at our house to celebrate V-J Day and my parents were serving a sweet ceremonial-type wine that was commonly offered to guests back in the day. There was an accident in front of the house and they all trooped out to see what was going on. I had been eying their glasses all evening and convinced they were drinking grape juice, proceeded to down every glass in the room. Loved it! At least initially. Mom didn't, but there wasn't much she could do with the house full of guests. So, while glaring at me, she went about her business and readied a spread that included salads and an assortment of grilled sausage and hot dogs. Though I was by this time feeling decidedly unwell, I dared not refuse the hot dog I had been given. I managed to down two or three bites before Bacchus exacted his revenge. It would be another 40 years before I could swallow any type of bun-encased sausage and I still, to this day, haven't had another glass of sweet wine. Now, that bit of my history is what makes today's recipe so unusual. I actually made bratwurst this week and shared it with company, albeit on a beach. I used a recipe that was developed by Emeril LaGasse and I was really pleased with the result. Because we were also feeding children, I used a non-alcoholic beer to cook the sausage and make the cabbage topper. I used O'Doul's Amber, which I often use for cooking when I want the flavor of hops without the bitterness. It is hard to spoil really good bratwurst unless it is overcooked, but the toppings used to smother it can often be problematic. That is not the case here. This would be a wonderful dish for game day or any male gathering, so I'm passing the recipe on to you. Here's how this version of bratwurst with beer and cabbage is made. I really think you'll be pleased.
Bratwurst with Beer and Cabbage...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Emeril LaGasse
8 links of fresh bratwurst
3 (12-ounce) bottles of beer
8 ounces bacon, chopped
2 cups julienned onions
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small head of cabbage, cored and shredded
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
8 egg hot-dog buns
1) Preheat grill. Place beer in a saucepan, over medium heat. Bring liquid to a boil. Add sausages and cook for 10 minutes. Remove sausages from liquid, but reserve liquid. Set sausages aside.
2) Render bacon in a large saute pan set over medium heat, until crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove bacon and set aside. Discard all bacon fat except for 1/4 cup. Place 1/4 cup of fat back into pan and add onions. Season with black pepper. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Add cabbage. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to saute for 4 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Stir in garlic, mustard and 2 cups of cooking liquid from sausages. Bring liquid to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Re-season with salt and pepper. Place sausages on grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side. To serve, place sausages between each bun. Top each sausage with some of the smothered cabbage. Yield: 8 servings.
Cook's Note: Sausages can also cooked in a grill pan on top of stove.
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