Ahhh...the chill in the air! My very favorite time of year... I want to open all the windows and light a fire in the fireplace! I am so envious of you folks who actually have seasons, as there are only two seasons in Houston (Summer and Christmas). Thankfully, we are sliding into Christmas season.
During this blessed transition, we begin to enjoy heavier beers such as Oktoberfests and winter ales, and slave over big batches of chili, gumbo, and hearty stews. It's the season for huddling around a fire, counting the stars, breathing in the rustic scent of the outdoors. We have festivals and parties and any other excuse to get out and enjoy the weather. We fire up the grills and smokers and outdoor fryers, with burgers and sausages and brisket and anything pork-related. And did I mention, bratwurst?
Several years ago, a good friend from Wisconsin introduced me to an awesome way to prepare brats. Previously, I had simply grilled them, which I thought was awesome enough. But she took it to a whole new level. Drunken brats. What goes better with brats than, BEER? Throw in some onions for good measure, and you have a masterpiece.
1 pound bratwurst (grilled, or otherwise cooked) - I used Johnsonville's spicy
1 large yellow onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium-dark beer (I used a brown ale...you can use any medium to dark beer that you enjoy drinking)
1 serving chicken bouillion
Spicy brown mustard
Fire up the grill! Or, you may choose to cook your brats in a skillet. Either way, we begin with cooked brats. I grilled these puppies with a side of pecan chips to give them a hint of smokiness. Oh yes. See the smoke swirling around those babies? Can't you just smell it?
Chop your onions by cutting in half, and then slicing into half-rings.
Heat butter in a pan - the pan needs to be wide enough to accommodate the brats and a couple of inches deep.
When butter begins to brown, add onions.
Stir onions to coat with butter, simmer on medium.
Cook until the onions begin to give up and go boneless, about 10 minutes.
Add beer. All of it. Go ahead. You know you want to.
Stir in a serving of bouillon (I prefer the spoonable chicken stock, but a cube will work). Simmer.
How are those brats doing? Are they done yet? They are really looking tasty...
Add cooked brats to beer and onion mixture. Cover brats with onions.
Cover and simmer for an hour.
Prepare sauerkraut, set aside in a serving dish.
Serve bratwurst in a bun, with mustard and sauerkraut.Top with a layer of drunken onions.