Beer-Braised Bratwurst

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There are so many things I could say about this beer-braised bratwurst, but they’re so juvenile that I shouldn’t. For one, the name: bratwurst. Tee-hee. I’ve taken to dropping it here and there in sentences, just so I can hear it out loud. (I am actually a 5-year-old child. It’s fine really.)

I made this on a whim, after spying some bratwurst (HA. still funny.) on sale ahead of that little game on Sunday. Braising the sausage in beer gives it a slight tangy flavor, but it’s really just an excuse to drink beer while you cook. The onions are the real star of the show — they soften and caramelize and absorb the sausage’s saltiness and the beer’s zip and are just so heavenly and delicious that I want to eat them on top of everything.

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While I didn’t go the traditional route of making these bratwurst into sandwiches, you could easily do so (this might be the way to go if you’re throwing a Super Bowl party — guests can just help themselves). Instead, I paired it with Balsamic-braised red cabbage, which was just as delicious as I remembered. Plus it was an opportunity to eat pork on pork on pork, which is never a bad thing.

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Either way you serve it, please promise me you’ll make extra onions. I’d like a second helping of those and a second helping of this on Sunday. (And maybe some of this too, please?)

Note: If you’re looking for more Super Bowl ideas, I’ve got a list over here (including plenty of vegetarian options!)

Beer-Braised Bratwurst
Adapted from Food Network

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion (or 1/2 of a large one)

– 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

– 1 bay leaf

– 1 pound bratwurst

– 1 cup pilsner or ale beer (I used a pale ale)

1) In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil on medium. Add the onions and saute until they begin to soften slightly.

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2) Add the peppercorns, bay leaf and the sausage. Saute until the sausages brown and the onions caramelize, 7-10 minutes.

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3) Add the ale and make sure the sausages are nestled in the liquid. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes, until the bratwurst are fully cooked. Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly. Serve with braised cabbage, spicy mustard and a beer.

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