The big game is coming soon, and whether you watch the game or just the commercials, it is a fun event to get together with friends. Bratwurst is a traditional big game food, and just because your grill might be covered with a few feet of snow, don’t let that stop you from making one of my favorite recipes, Big Game Brats. So enjoy the game, and enjoy a true football favorite, Brats! If you are not a football fan brats also go great with soccer, basketball, baseball, cricket or your favorite sport.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a sauce pan, a sauté pan a knife and cutting board, the oven or grill, the stove, a cookie sheet, and a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula.
If you are not allowed to use a knife, the oven, stove, or grill by yourself you can ask an adult to help.
ChefElla’s Big Game Brats (4-6 Bratwurst)
4-6 ea. Bratwurst, Fresh (Turkey, Pork, Homemade or your favorite brand will work just fine)
8 oz. Bacon, cut into ¼ inch pieces
3 Cups Fennel, Sliced Thin (about 8 oz. without the stalks)
-Cut off the green leafy branches. Cut the fennel in half stem to root. Cut out the root. Lay the fennel flat on the cutting board and slice into thin ½ moons. You will be cutting through the natural ridges of the fennel not with the ridges.
1 ea. Bottle of Beer (12.5 oz)
-If you like strong beer flavor get a stout or porter. If you like lighter beers use an IPA or Pilsner. I know using alcohol for cooking can seem strange, but the alcohol will cook off in the process and just leave the flavors.
2 Cups White Onion, Sliced Thin (about 8 oz.)
1 Tbl Brown Sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
½ tsp Salt, Kosher or Sea
pinch Black Pepper
4-6 ea. Bratwurst Buns, Hoagie Roll or Large Hot dog Buns
3. Pearce your brats with afork and place into your sauce pan. Pour beer over the brats. If the beer does not cover the brats add a little water or some more beer.
4. Turn the stove to medium-high heat. When the beer begins to bubble turn the heat down to medium so that the brats simmer in the beer. Do not boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Cover your cookie sheet with foil and put the brats onto the pan. Leave the liquid in the sauce pan and continue to cook until the liquid reduces by half of its volume.
6. Pre-heat your sauté pan on medium high heat. Add your bacon and cook until the bacon pieces crisp up. Remove the bacon pieces and most of the bacon fat from the pan.
7. Return the sauté pan to the stove, turn the heat to medium, and add your onions and fennel. Stir occasionally to keep the vegetables from sticking or burning.
8. When the vegetables cook to a golden color add ½ cup of cooking liquid, brown sugar, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to the pan, and mix well.
9. Let the mixture cook until the liquid is almost gone. Add the bacon to the pan and mix well. Leave the ingredients in the pan and turn off the heat.
10. Open your oven and place the rack on the top slide. Turn your oven to broil. When the oven is up to temperature. Place your bratwurst into the oven and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until the brats are golden brown. Turn the brats over and cook for another 3 minutes. Cook to an internal temperature of 160F. Cooking times may vary based on brat size. (If you are grilling your brats, place over a low flame or away from the flame. Turn every 3-4 minutes until the brat is nice and grilled on each side.)
11. Toast your brat buns, add your brat, and top with your caramelized vegetable mixture.
Serve your brats with your favorite toppings.
ChefElla’s helpers can help by:
Measuring out ingredients
Helping cook the vegetables
Older helpers can prep vegetables and help cook all of the ingredients.