Friday, February 23, 2018

Reuben Style Beer Poached Bratwurst

One of my favorite things to do is to cook with my foodie friends. Together we can tackle bigger projects than we might attempt alone. So when a friend suggested we make homemade sauerkraut I eagerly agreed. It came out exceptionally tasty, with more personality than the store bought stuff. Unlike the canned sauerkraut, homemade sauerkraut contains loads of beneficial probiotics. More than that, it has been inspiring me to cook some especially lovely sausage based meals of late.

Recently I was inspired to try my bratwurst “reuben” style and it was my favorite experiment yet!

Some of you might be wondering what a “Reuben” is. It is a sour and sweet, salty sandwich style which is usually served with roast beef, pastrami or brisket as the protein. I have had a marvelous version with tempeh, so the sandwich style is very versatile. It always includes sauerkraut, thousand island dressing (what I refer to as sauce below) and warm, gooey Swiss cheese. It also includes such variations as mustard and sauteed onions. It is a fabulous, complex combination that delivers tart, salty, sweet, rich and fatty all in a single bite.

These can be made with hotdogs, or even be made vegetarian with soy hotdogs (just poach in water).

Try it out, especially if you are planning to grill tonight.

“Reuben” Style Bratwurst
(Makes 5 servings)

For the sausage & poaching liquid:

1 lb pork bratwurst (should be about 5 per pkg)
10 oz ipa or darker beer
1/2 onion, sliced
1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil

For the sauce:

2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon ketchup
1/2 Tablespoon dill pickle relish

Toppings & extras:

5 buns or small rolls
Homemade sauerkraut (store bought is a fine substitute)
~3 oz sliced Swiss cheese

1. in a pan over medium heat, bring the beer to a low boil with onions, garlic and butter. Add sausages, cover and reduce to a summer. Poach for about 14 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl, cover and set in fridge.

3. Remove sausages and onions from liquid. Drain pan and pat sausages dry. If you are going to grill the sausages* brush them with oil. Allow them to brown on one side over indirect heat for 3 - 5 minutes.

3 Flip and cover with cheese, then cover with a baking dish so cheese gets properly melted while the other side browns. If you like to toast your buns/rolls, put them on the grill over indirect heat while the sausages brown, another 3 - 5 minutes (watch them carefully because they burn quickly).

4. Remove sausages and rolls/buns from grill and serve sausages in buns/rolls. Pile with onions, sauerkraut and sauce. I served mine with baked seasoned fries and steamed peas.

*You can pan fry the sausages in the olive oil for ~5 minutes per side, and you can also use the same process for melting the cheese.