Saturday, August 15, 2009
The Brat Tub. Mr. Dave at His Wurst.
So, I have been seeing recipes for Brat Tubs, or Brat Hot Tubs, for quite a while. Basically, it seems that these recipes started as a way to kind of keep the Bratwursts in a "holding tank" of poaching liquid on the grill. When someone was ready for a brat you would fish one out and finish it off over the charcoal. At its simplest the Brat Tub recipe calls for beer and onions, that is pretty much it. The beer and onions are discarded after use which seems to me to be kind of a waste of some flavorful liquid. I came across a recipe that involved reducing the beer with some other additions into a gloopy onion based condiment.
I started with six superbly high quality bratwursts from Rolf's Pork Store on Lexington in Albany (please click link to read about how I adore this porky oasis in the ghetto).
Here is further Wurst porn.
These guys are going to get poached in some beer. In the champagne of beers.
That is right folks, Miller High Life. The good stuff. Two should do. I am starting this recipe off on my stove top, not on the grill, as I was going to be bringing it over to a friends house and did not want to be messing about too much there.
My tip for poaching fresh wurst is to put them into the liquid when it is cold and slowly bring them up to temperature, never boiling. The barest possible simmer is best, more of a bath than a boil. If you were to throw them straight into a rolling boil you would have a mess of burst skins. About 20 minutes should do in 190 degree water, you want the brats to be around 150-160 internally.
When the brats are done take them out and reserve. Throw 3-4 onions cut into rings into the beers. Also, throw in a wad of butter, 1/2 cup of your favorite ketchup, 1/4 cup mustard of choice, and as much of your favorite hot sauce as you like. I used about a tablespoon of my favorite, the indomitable Tiger Sauce. This is a sweet/hot sauce with a tamarind flavor to it.
Reduce everything for about 30-40 minutes. It should be thick and gloopy and be kind of gross looking. Don't worry, it tastes awesome.
As always, I got distracted at the actual barbecue and forgot to take any pictures of the grilling process. You pretty much just want to grill the poached bratwursts until good and brown and then dunk them back in the simmering sauce for a while. Serve each brat on a crusty roll with plenty of the onions and sauce. I also grilled up a few Anaheim peppers for a little extra spice and flavor. I did manage to get a shot of a half eaten end product.
People seemed to enjoy this concoction, I think I could jazz it up a little bit next time and end up with something a little more refined. The onions needed a little something, I think an acid of some type would have been good in there. A little vinegar or some pickled jalapenos might have been the way to go. But I really like the whole concept of the Brat Tub, it is kind of fun. Plus, those Rolf's Bratwursts are so good I like any excuse to go get a few.