Friday, September 18, 2009

Brats with Peppers and Onions

Now that fall is upon us, we must consider tailgating! Fall is my favorite time of year to be outdoors - the crisp air, the smell of leaves on the grass, the awesome power of 300-pound offensive linemen crushing a makes you almost giddy with excitement! Great tailgating is all about preparation: it's hard to do a lot of cooking over a portable grill. To be successful, you must do as much cooking as possible at home, then use the grill as a last-minute finisher. Brats are a great example of this technique.

  • 4 bratwurst sausages
  • 1 bottle beer (regular or non-alcoholic)
  • 1 red onion, frenched
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 1 bottle of mustard (regular or spicy)

At home: Simmer the sausages in the beer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Tightly wrap in plastic and store in a sealable container in a refrigerator or cooler until grill time. Put the peppers and onions on a large piece of aluminum foil. Add the oil, salt, and pepper and toss to evenly coat. Spread the veggies into a single layer and seal the foil into a packet not wider than your grill. Refrigerate with the brats and proceed to the grill location.

Grill time: Heat the grill for direct heat (all burners on high for gas grills). Put the veggie packet on the grill, flipping once per minute for 5-10 minutes, or until the veggies are cooked and caramelized (if using charcoal, you can put the packet right on the coals). Grill the brats for 2 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Toast the buns for 30-60 seconds. Place a sausage in each bun with mustard and veggies.

Note: If you're just having this at home, you can forgo the grilling and do this on a griddle or flat top. Just sautee the veggies over high heat, brown the brats, and toast the buns in the oven or broiler.

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