Beer Beer Brats
Submitted by Sam_I_Am.
I'd never made sausage before. I was given this awesome sausage grinder for my mixer, and was itching to use it.
There's this big debate on how to cook "beer brats". Some people simmer in beer before cooking. Some simmer after. I figure simmering before causes the brats to lose some flavor, so I steamed instead of soaked. But, figuring that beer was the whole point of the project, I simmered in beer after, too. :)
- 4 lbs Pork Butt
- 5 cloves Garlic
- 1 Beer for filling
- 1 T Hot Pepper Flakes
- 2 t Cayenne
- 1 T Salt
- 10' Casings
- 2 beers to steam
- 3 beers to simmer
Pork butt has the right % fat. I bought this from our awesome butcher. Freeze for a bit so it's easier to cut.
Cut into 2" cubes and grind. It's important to keep the whole process cold, so the fat doesn't melt. You're essentially making an emulsion out of meat and fat, so put the grinder in the freezer for an hour beforehand.
Mix in the garlic, beer, pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt, and put the meat back in the fridge for an hour. Of course I used the Champaign of Beers.
Wash all the casings, inside and out. Shoot water through the insides, both to help clean them and stretch them a bit and make it easier to load onto the stuffer.
My grinder and stuffer seem great, but the plunger is AWFUL. I guess they were trying to save plastic at KitchenAid Corp, but it's not solid; it's a disk of plastic connected to a stick. That means when you try to plunge, the meat goes in, but when you remove the plunger, the meat gets caught on the edges of the disk and pulls right out. It's a royal pain. I'd think the grinder would have enough force to push the meat into the casings on its own, but w/o a decent plunger, it didn't work at all. :(
Anyway, I'll go buy a real plunger at some point, and that'll fix everything. For the time being, I whittled one out of a potato, and then everything worked great. Try not to let any air-bubbles in.
"Wait, what? I'm sorry, Sam, you must have mistyped. It looked like you said that you WHITTLED A PLUNGER OUT OF A POTATO." Yeah, and here's the thing about my potato carving: I needed a long cylinder to plunge, with a handle to grip. So I left one end with the potato-skin on, and cut the rest so it'd fit my grinder. It did end up a little ... phallic.
This is probably the first NSFW image in IronChef history. :)
I tried twisting to form the individual brats, but a couple burst through the casing. It's way easier to just cut 3" pieces of twine and tie those.
Let the brats chill in the fridge for a few hours to meld. Then, get out your awesome steaming rig, with a 9qt and a 5qt le creuset and fitting colanders. Pour about a half-inch of beer into the bottom of each and bring to a boil.
Load in the brats and steam for 10 minutes. We're just par-cooking these, before they go on the grill. They'll look appetizingly ... grey.
I don't have a great grill, and it's gas anyway, so I cooked inside. My Griddler opens up to a double grill plate, so I seared the brats on high. Note that, with store-bought brats, you should probably cook to 165. However, since I made these myself and I know that this little piggy came from a good home, I can just cook to 150.
When they're done (or even a tiny bit under-done) plop into a simmering bath of beer till dinner time.