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Bratwursts in Beer-Cheese Sauce

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 February 2016 at 10:26

On this 50th SuperBowl Sunday, I am posting this recipe, which I placed in the American Mid-West due to the obvious connections to Wisconsin. 


Variations on this theme have been floating around on the Internet and social media, so I decided to try it and was not disappointed in the least. Here is the version that I came up with:


Quote Bratwursts in Beer-Cheese Sauce


2 bottles of your favourite beer (I used Budweiser)

6 to 12 bratwursts, depending on their size (I used 12 Johnsonville Stadium Brats)

1 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup (1 8-ounce package) cream cheese

2 cups of your favourite cheese, shredded (I used sharp cheddar)


This recipe can be prepared on a grill or on a stove-top.


Place beer, bratwursts, onion and garlic in a pot or saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bratwursts from the beer, then grill or broil until the casings are browned, perhaps 10 or 15 minutes, depending on their distance from the heat.


Strain the onions out of the beer that the bratwursts were simmering in and set aside. Measure 1 cup of the beer broth, then discard or save the rest for another use. Return the broth to the saucepan, then add cream cheese, breaking it up and whisking or stirring until it is nearly melted. 


Reduce heat to low and begin adding shredded cheese a handful at a time, whisking or stirring as it melts into the sauce.  Continue to stir over low heat until cheese is fully melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the onions back to the saucepan and cook until heated through.


Serve the bratwursts topped with the cheese sauce.


Needless to say, this stuff was excellent; The only thing that I would change about this preparation would have been to add some black pepper.

 

Best of all, this was also quite easy and would lend itself to dozens of variations. Imagine using a real beer, rather than some assembly-line swill. One could also change the profile by using a smoked sausage, Little Smokies, chorizo, Italian sausage...or perhaps a smoked cheese such as Gouda, Provolone or Swiss. You could add bacon, shrimp, diced peppers, hot sauce or a score of other ingredients and create an entirely new variation to suit your taste preferences, or perhaps a chosen theme. Top with a fried or poached egg, serve on toast, and you have breakfast. The possibilities are limited only by your available ingredients, and your imagination.


But, then again, you could do it simply as I did, and enjoy a really nice "cheese head" experience....

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AK1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2016 at 05:26
OK, Beer, Bratwurst & Cheese.

I'm in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2016 at 06:41
    Beer, Cheese and Brats...yeah, I'm in!

   (location northern Illinois...so really no choice Wink)
Enjoy The Food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2016 at 19:19
Let me know what you think, guys ~ and feel free to post a few photos, if you want! I'm still without a camera....Ouch
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2016 at 09:20
Well... I know what I'm doing for dinner tomorrow!!! (I would do it tonight, but I have a roast in the crockpot already Smile )
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2016 at 17:19
You will love it! Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2016 at 21:41
Well tonight was the night I finally got around to trying this. Not bad. Not quite what I expected but good. Definitely will make it again. At first I wasn't quite sure I'd done it right because the cheese sauce was both gritty looking and sticky like taffy at the same time. Maybe because of the cheese I used? I used pre-shredded medium cheddar. Or maybe I just didn't have it warm enough? Anyway I added a good dash of heavy cream and stirred the snot out of it and it eventually came out alright. Still thicker than I would have liked but it worked. Then, when I tasted the cheese I thought it was a little bland so I added a good couple shakes of seasoning salt and 8 or so dashes of Worcestershire. That made it real nice. I think next time I'll add some diced jalapeƱos for kick. And find some buns that actually fit the sausage lol.
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2016 at 09:38
Trouble with pre-shredded cheeses, Mike, is that they add stuff to help the flow. Sometimes flour, sometime unpronouncables. But they all have one thing in common; they reduce the meltability of the cheese.

Were I you, next time I'd try the recipe with freshly grated cheese, and see if that makes a difference.
But we hae meat and we can eat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2016 at 10:29
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

Trouble with pre-shredded cheeses, Mike, is that they add stuff to help the flow. Sometimes flour, sometime unpronouncables. But they all have one thing in common; they reduce the meltability of the cheese.

Were I you, next time I'd try the recipe with freshly grated cheese, and see if that makes a difference.


That was my thought as well, the junk they add to keep it from clumping. Also might explain the lack of flavor. I've always thought the pre-shredded stuff just doesn't stand up to the block cheese in terms of flavor. Next time it'll definitely be from a block.
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2016 at 19:26
I think Brook hit it on the mark. 

My preparation was slightly thicker than expected, but the flavour was great.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2016 at 10:14
I made this again last night. This time I used block cheese and shredded it myself. I also added a tablespoon or so of gray poupon (or however you spell that stuff) and a couple good dashes of worchestershire. Much better! It came out just a hair thin after the mustard and worchestershire so I think next time a touch more cheese to compensate for that, but we're getting there. Going to make some pretzels this weekend to use the rest cheese sauce with.

Might also be that I used better beer this time too! Wink Last time I think I used bud light lime, this time I used a Red Ale from the local brewery.
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2017 at 14:42
I'll probably be making these this weekend, just because....

The beer I am going to try will be "Salmon Fly Honey Rye," from Madison Brewing Company, here in Montana:

http://madisonriverbrewing.com/ourbrews/salmon-fly-honey-rye

I plan to try some or all of Mike's modifications, and will definitely use block cheese, rather than pre-shredded. I might also make it a "meal" by adding chopped broccoli or cauliflower (or both) to the sauce, or serving the sauce on them.

We'll see how it goes!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2017 at 09:32
Success! This was as tasty as it was the first time...actually, it was a little better! It was tangy. It was creamy. It had broiled bratwursts simmered in beer. It had almost everything that one could hope for.

Here are the modifications that I made:

After simmering the bratwursts in the "Salmon Fly Honey Rye," I reduced the beer down to just a little over a cup, rather than measuring out a cup. This was the foundation for my cheese sauce.

I added about half a teaspoon of salt, about a teaspoon of ground black pepper, a couple of tablespoons of Grey Poupon and about 3 healthy glugs of L&P's Worcestershire sauce.

Between the time that I bought the block cheese and the time that this was made, the kids ate the cheese. I had a bag of Kraft's pre-shredded "triple cheddar" cheese, and used that, instead. It turned out very well - tangy and rich. Thanks to the slightly-more amount of beer used and the addition of the Worcestershire sauce, the cheese sauce was not nearly as thick as before, but it was still just slightly thicker that it probably should have been. No worries, in my book, because it made a really nice sauce that was spooned over some broccoli and cauliflower that was on the side.

A winner all-around - I really enjoyed this version, and we will probably make it again for the upcoming Superbowl. I think that the only thing that would have made this a little more perfect would have been the addition of some smoky diced bacon...something to think about for the future?
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