How to Make Midwestern Beer Brats

Around the World in 80 Dishes takes you to the American Midwest, with a demonstration of a classic recipe for Beer Brats prepared by a Culinary Institute of America chef.

Released on 11/17/2010

Credits

Starring: Dave Kamen and Tanya Steel

Transcript

00:00
(upbeat techno music)
00:05
(classical music)
00:11
Hi, I'm Tanya Steele, editor and chief
00:13
of Epicurious.com and you're watching
00:16
Around the World in 80 Dishes.
00:17
Today, we're going to the Midwest
00:19
of the U.S. and we're making beer brats
00:21
and there's no one better to show me
00:22
how to make them than my buddy here,
00:24
Dave Kamen from the CIA.
00:26
Chef, you look like the man who would be able to tell me
00:29
how to make an authentic beer brat.
00:32
Well, it's really not a very difficult thing to do.
00:34
We got beer and we got brats
00:36
and what else do you need, really?
00:38
I guess, for many people,
00:39
that's all they need in life, right?
00:41
Beer and brats.
00:41
Absolutely.
00:42
My brother-in-law would say that, okay.
00:43
I often times never thought of brats
00:45
as a mid-western thing until, really
00:47
not too long ago when I started
00:48
looking into the heritage of the people in the Midwest.
00:51
A lot of them came from Europe and Germany.
00:53
That's right.
00:54
And they came here and they settled
00:55
in the farmlands and they farmed cows
00:57
and they farmed hogs and they farmed
00:58
all kinds of things and what are you going to do
01:00
with a bunch of meat but make sausages, so.
01:02
Exactly, and also it's kind of the
01:03
epicenter for our brewing, ya know,
01:06
our beer center in America.
01:07
Absolutely, and one and one makes lunch.
01:10
There you go, alright so show me what to do.
01:11
Alright, what we're gonna do
01:12
is we're gonna start by boiling
01:14
these brats in some beer for about 20 minutes or so,
01:17
so you can take these, drop them
01:19
right inside the pan.
01:20
Okay.
01:21
And you can use any kind of brats that you want, or?
01:24
Yeah, there's a lot of different ones
01:25
on the market, we have ones that are a little bit
01:27
more finely ground, some that are
01:28
a little more coarsely ground,
01:29
which ever one you prefer.
01:30
I see.
01:31
And even throughout the Midwest,
01:32
you'll find different regions
01:33
have their own special style.
01:34
Right.
01:35
So, I want to do now is add to that
01:36
some beer, and we've got a really nice
01:38
lager beer that we're gonna pour inside here.
01:40
Okay, so it should be a lager and not an ale.
01:42
Well, a lager or an ale, just nothing too really dark,
01:44
because the darker beers tend to
01:46
make it a little more bitter.
01:47
Oh.
01:48
And we just need to have enough
01:49
just to barely cover these guys up here.
01:52
We don't want them to have too much inside there.
01:54
And then, for a little more flavor,
01:57
we're gonna add a nice big spoonful of mustard.
02:00
Okay.
02:00
Inside there.
02:01
I see this is a nice grainy mustard.
02:02
Yep 'er.
02:04
So I just dollop it right in?
02:05
Just drop it right inside there.
02:06
Maybe one more.
02:07
Oh, alright.
02:08
Go ahead and load it up.
02:09
Live it up. Here we go.
02:10
And then we're gonna add these onions.
02:11
So I just got some thickly sliced onions
02:12
over here and what you can do is add them,
02:14
just kinda break 'em apart as you put 'em in.
02:16
Okay.
02:18
So, all this is gonna simmer or boil?
02:21
We're gonna bring it to a boil
02:22
and let it simmer, very gently,
02:23
for about 20 minutes, we wanna poach the brats,
02:27
we wanna let them get nice and hot
02:28
all the way through, and really
02:30
they're fully cooked out of the package
02:31
most of the time, but what we really want to do
02:33
is get some flavor into them.
02:34
We'll get the flavor of the beer, the mustard
02:36
and the onions, all working together inside there.
02:39
So, you can take this, and just stir them around.
02:40
Make sure you dunk those onions,
02:42
'cause whatever's not in the water,
02:43
whatever's not in the liquid
02:45
is not going to give us any good flavor.
02:47
And then, at this point we just bring it to a boil,
02:49
and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
02:51
Covered or uncovered?
02:52
We can let it go uncovered, that's fine.
02:53
Okay, okay.
02:54
And after 20 minutes, we just go on
02:56
to the next step and go ahead and grill 'em.
02:57
Alright, great, now I hear you've got some already made.
02:59
I've got some already made back here on the stove.
03:01
So we're gonna take these,
03:03
and we're gonna swap these out for those.
03:05
I see you've got these, these have been
03:07
boiling for 20 minutes, or simmering
03:09
for 20 minutes and some people
03:10
can put ketchup in as well when you put them in to brine.
03:14
You can add a little ketchup
03:14
inside there as well if you want to.
03:15
I'm not a big ketchup fan,
03:16
but you certainly can do that if you want to.
03:17
Anything that you want to put inside there,
03:19
even some pickles or a little bit of pickling spice,
03:21
whatever you like, to make it taste good.
03:23
Okay. Is great.
03:24
So, what we want to do now is
03:26
we're gonna need to take these guys,
03:27
cut 'em in half, and then we're gonna grill them,
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and we've got a stovetop grill here,
03:31
now obviously, this would be a lot better
03:33
If it was on a real grill?
03:35
If you had a nice gas, charcoal grill.
03:36
Let's go ahead and turn that up nice.
03:37
Ah, but because we don't have that
03:39
inside our studio here, we're gonna go ahead and use this.
03:42
And this'll be fine too, if you don't have one,
03:43
if you don't have a gas grill at home,
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you can go ahead and get one of these little grill plates,
03:46
and that goes over a couple of burners
03:48
on your stove at home and that works out real, real nicely.
03:50
These are cast-iron?
03:51
These are cast-iron, so it works
03:52
with our induction burner here too.
03:53
What we wanna do while we're waiting for that is,
03:56
over here we've got an onion,
03:58
and we're gonna just take this onion
04:00
and cut it into a bunch of thick slices.
04:02
Would you care to slice some onion?
04:03
Sure.
04:04
Why don't you go ahead and slice that.
04:05
You want to tell me, while I'm doing it,
04:06
your secret for not crying while you cut onions?
04:09
That's a great question, and the secret,
04:11
very simply, is a very, very sharp knife.
04:13
Really?
04:14
Because, here's what happens.
04:16
When you have a knife that's not so sharp,
04:18
the knife crushes down on the cells,
04:21
and squeezes all the juice out into the air.
04:23
If your knife is sharp, and if you look here
04:25
on the cutting board, you can see
04:26
there's not a lot of juice,
04:27
there's not a lot of juice on the knife.
04:29
Alright, none of that's getting out into the air
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and none of that's gonna hurt us at all.
04:32
Wow, that's amazing.
04:33
Isn't that cool?
04:34
Yes.
04:35
Okay, great.
04:36
So, why don't we take these guys here.
04:37
And we'll go ahead and just lay them right on the grill.
04:38
Okay.
04:39
Leave some room for the brats to go on there, of course.
04:46
And we're gonna start grilling these onions
04:47
and while the onions are grilling
04:49
then we're going to take our bratwurst here,
04:54
don't they look good?
04:54
They do.
04:55
So you want to cut 'em in half
04:56
so that their nice and straight
04:57
and that way, they come out nice and even.
04:59
So from here, we're gonna take these guys
05:01
and we're just gonna put 'em,
05:02
we're gonna start with the skin side down
05:05
on the griddle, and really what we want to do now
05:08
is just let 'em get some marks on 'em,
05:10
let 'em pick up a little bit of flavor.
05:12
We'll turn 'em and we'll grill the other side down as well,
05:15
and then we'll take 'em off and we'll make
05:16
a really, really nice sandwich.
05:17
Beautiful, okay.
05:18
So Chef, we got the onions on first
05:20
'cause those take a little longer to cook,
05:22
and then we've got the brats on.
05:23
So, the brats really only take like,
05:24
five minutes or so, basically.
05:25
Yeah, the brats don't take too long.
05:26
Really all you wanna do is get some color on there,
05:29
get some of that nice charcoal flavor
05:31
going on there as well.
05:32
The onions do take a little bit longer
05:34
so, like you say, they've been starting out first.
05:35
We've moved 'em around a bit so they've opened up
05:37
and you can see they're starting to get a little bit brown,
05:40
a little bit juicy on there.
05:41
You can see we've got some color on our brats,
05:43
and if we go ahead and turn them again
05:46
you can see we've gotten some marks
05:47
on the second side, so I think
05:48
we're pretty much ready to go here.
05:50
So, are you hungry?
05:52
I am, actually.
05:52
I'm starving, I didn't have breakfast this morning.
05:54
Oh well, this is the breakfast of champions.
05:56
Breakfast of championships, right?
05:58
So, what we have now, is we have some Kaiser rolls.
06:02
Okay.
06:03
That we made up here in our own bake shops.
06:04
Oh, those are beautiful.
06:06
And what we're gonna do with these,
06:07
you certainly could take these
06:09
and toast them on the grill if you want as well.
06:11
These are nice and fresh out of the oven
06:12
from this morning so I think
06:13
they're gonna be fine the way they are.
06:15
And then, of course, a little bit more mustard.
06:17
Yep.
06:18
On there.
06:19
I'm just gonna smear that on there right nice,
06:21
and then we've got some pickles here
06:24
and, I like a little bit of pickle
06:25
on my bratwurst, don't you?
06:27
Those are sweet pickles?
06:28
These are sweet pickles, you can use
06:30
dill pickles if you want to.
06:32
Again, anything that really works well.
06:34
You know, we think about where these are
06:37
so, where in the world are you getting
06:38
your bratwurst from and if there's a local bratwurst,
06:41
and a local beer and a local pickle,
06:42
I always say if it grows together,
06:43
it goes together.
06:44
Ah. I love that.
06:46
So, that's always a nice thing to think about.
06:47
That's so true.
06:48
So, if you wanna grab, maybe,
06:49
two halves of our brats and put 'em right on here.
06:53
And just like that.
06:56
Okay, and some onions.
06:57
Put a little bit of onions on there,
06:59
yeah, that's wonderful stuff.
07:00
Mmmm.
07:01
Okay. Okay.
07:04
And we're gonna close this baby up.
07:05
Uh huh.
07:08
Now, unfortunately, you're not gonna be able
07:09
to use a knife and fork on this one.
07:11
Oh that's, I'm not a knife and fork girl.
07:12
You're gonna have to pick it up.
07:16
Alright.
07:17
Here we go. Here we go. Cheers.
07:18
I lost half of my brat.
07:20
I got two brats at home, so I think that's
07:21
(Tanya laughs)
07:24
Mmmm.
07:26
That's good stuff, isn't it?
07:27
Delicious.
07:28
Alright.
07:29
No wonder this is so popular in the Midwest.
07:31
It should be popular everywhere in the world.
07:31
And you know it.
07:33
Fabulous.
07:33
Well Chef, thank you so much, for showing me
07:35
how to make these brats.
07:36
My pleasure.
07:37
Do we have any beer left?
07:38
(Tanya laughs)