Braised food

Beer Braised Bratwurst with Onion

Grilled brats are great on their own, but if you don’t have a grill or want to make football or baseball meals ahead of time, these braised sausages are the way to go. Brown the bratwursts in butter, remove them from the pan, add the onions and crushed mustard seeds to the meaty butter and cook slowly until softened and sweet. Nestle the brats in the onions, add the beer and cook until the flavors meld into a savory onion sauce. Serve on hoagie rolls brushed with zesty mustard.

What to buy: We prefer Newcastle Brown Ale in this recipe, although any good quality dark beer will do.

Game plan: The brats and onions can be made a day ahead using step 3, then reheated when ready to serve.

You will need to prepare the hot mustard before you begin.

This recipe was featured as part of our Tailgating Recipes photo gallery.

  • Yield: 12 sausages
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1h50
  • Active: 45 minutes

Ingredients (11)

  • 2 teaspoons black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 12 raw bratwurst
  • 3 medium white or yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) dark beer, such as Newcastle
  • 12 hoagie rolls, toasted
  • Sweet Hot Mustard, for serving (see game plan note)


  1. Place the mustard seeds and caraway seeds in a small resealable plastic bag and crush them with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
  2. Melt butter in Dutch oven or large, wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add 6 of the bratwursts and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining 6 bratwursts.
  3. Reduce heat to low, add crushed seed mixture, onions and brown sugar, then season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are starting to brown, about 40 minutes. Add the reserved bratwursts and any accumulated juices, nesting the bratwursts into the onions. Pour in the beer and braise the bratwursts, turning once, until cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  4. Place a bratwurst in each bun and serve with the onions and mustard on the side.