Why yes, we fire up the grill in the middle of winter. Here, dark beer adds layers of Maillard comfort to braised onions and a bratwurst burger from scratch (but simple to make).
Bratwurst Burger with Braised Onions and Spicy Mustard
- 1 lb (454 g) ground pork
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
- ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon ginger, ground
- ¼ teaspoon mace
- 2 cups (473 ml) yellow onion, ¼” (6 mm) julienne
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ¼ cup (59 ml) + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 oz (177 ml) dark beer
- 2 brioche buns or other type of bread
- Boston Bibb lettuce leaves
- ¼ cup spicy mustard (such as Löwensenf)
In a large bowl, combine the pork, sugar and spices (caraway seeds to mace) and mix well. Making sure to squeeze out as much air as possible, form two 8 oz (227 g) patties. Let the patties rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
For the braised onions, in a medium bowl, combine the onion, salt and ¼ cup (59 mL) vegetable oil. Mix well. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the onion mixture to the skillet. Stirring frequently, cook until onions turn golden brown. Slowly add the beer and mix well.
Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and keep warm.
To serve, remove the patties from the refrigerator. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat (you can also grill these patties if you prefer). Bake the patties until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and are cooked through. Place 2 lettuce leaves on bottom half of each bun. Place the bratwurst patty on the lettuce. Spread 2 tablespoons of spicy mustard on each patty. Top each patty with half a cup (118 mL) braised onions and finish with the top bun. Serve with your favorite side dish.
Beer Tasting Notes: While its porter and stout cousins bring the roast, dark beer brings more toasty crust and a judicious layer of caramel – not sweet, ideally, but balanced for drinkability. English-brewed (or English-style) examples, whether Northern or Southern, may rely more heavily on malt, with a smoother, lighter profile, while American dark ales have tends to have more bitterness and more hop flavor, but with malt character and body. to help balance it.
Beer suggestions: Cigar City Maduro (Tampa); Civil Life American Brown Ale (St. Louis); Harvey’s Lewes Castle Brown (Lewes, East Sussex, England); Russian River Janet’s Brown Ale (Santa Rosa, CA).