Since receiving this cookbook for Christmas, I’ve had my eye on a beer-poached brats recipe from Donny Enriquez’s Not Your Mother’s Cookbook. I make Italian sausage and peppers all the time, but I had never tried simmering sausages in beer before.
The photo in the cookbook promised jammy peppers and onions and a quick sear on the poached sausages, all of which looked right up my alley. So this week, I bought some bratwursts to give it a try.
First thing’s first: next time I eat a brat, I want it to be one that isn’t mass-produced and sold in my dinky grocery store. That sausage had no special seasoning or flavor, but I know that not all brats are like that. Seeing links of flavored brats makes my mouth water, and the one I made this week just didn’t do that. Now I know.
I also made a crucial mistake with this dinner.
IPAs are delicious. I drink them often. And when it comes to things like cheese sauce for pretzels, I know the more flavorful the beer, the better.
I also know that people traditionally use lagers for brats. So, why then, did I think that I’d beat the system by using an IPA for my dinner this week?
Was it because I’ve made IPA beer cheese before and liked the flavor? Or was that just a lazy cover-up to justify the fact that I didn’t feel like going to the store to pick up lagers?
I think we all know the answer to that question.
Anyway, my laziness got the better of me with these brats because IPAs were not the way to go. The sausages had a super bitter after-taste, and since they didn’t have any distinct seasoning of their own, that after-taste was the dominant flavor.
I can’t blame the recipe for this. It didn’t specify a type of beer, but I knew in my heart of hearts that what I was doing was wrong.
With that said, the sausages were well-cooked, and that final sear at the end gave them the perfect texture. The IPA just really killed the porky flavor.
Now I know: IPAs are for drinking. I’ll stick to grilling my sausages.
What are your favorite sausage recipes (Italian, bratwurst, you name it)? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram @thepickyeaterchronicles. I love sausage too much for this meal to be my lasting impression!