Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Grilled Beer Braised Brats ala Jam Hands


Labor Day is coming... Sadly, there will be a few bloggers who say things like, "The last days of this years grilling season".  For me, Fall is the BEST time to proof yourself king of the grill.  No sweaty nasty cooks serving up in 100 plus degree days (with extra humidity to make everyone even more uncomfortable.  Nope, for me, summer grilling is overrated.  Give me a crisp cool evening, and more likely than not, I am out on the grill.  My little Cul de Sac to the world has a pretty competitive back yard.  Neighborhood chili cook off (two year champion), experienced competitive smokers (2 veterans of the American Royal (largest competitive BBQ contest in the nation)) and more than a hand full of competitive foodies.  When I want to, I can show off.

But sometimes you just want a brat ...

and a beer.

Doesn't mean you can't make your brat and beer better than the rest of the propane warriors...

Like I said, there is a group of us, when we step up to the plate (walk to our grill), like EF Hutton, people listen (neighbors take a peek).

Hands down, these are the best.  For the teetotalers among you, a brat and a root beer works well also (root beer is made with lots of amazing spices and root vegetables, will flavor a brat nicely).

But hey, before we get too far, let me tell you about today's new Blogging Buddy...

Click the logo to be taken to the Jam Hands Blog!
Jam Hands is also ALI, a former girly girl now living mascara free in God's country, Montana!  Mother of two, and writer of one of the best blogs I have ever seen.  Ali has been blogging since 2004.  She did the near impossible, starting over with a fresh name, URL and look.  Like moving from a high school blog to a college level blog, Ali has become... practically perfect in every way (alright mom of two, extra points if you get the reference).

Jam HandsI dream of being as organized as she is.  Take a look at her "Parties" page.

Jam HandsIt not only features her personal button link up party button (Recipe Sharing Monday), but also features a seemingly never ending list and buttons of the blog hops that are available to bloggers to participate in. Are you best at pasta, there's a link up party for you to contribute.  Meat, Ice Cream and sweets... they all have their parties.  And if you are crafty or need to be inspired to be crafty, plenty of these.  It is a great service to have all those buttons and links in one place... well done Ali!

Oh and BTW, if you take a look at my left side bar you will see the parties I play at.  Very fast, very easy to participate.  All of those buttons are linked to blogs who submit to eRecipeCards.com.  I want everybody to be a success!  So if you are hosting a link up party and I have not added (or participated), please drop me a comment.

There's another page of Ali's you should take a look at...

Her "New Here" page.  She has links to favorite recipes, healthy recipes, indulgent recipes, cooking from scratch, cooking from a box... In other words, she cooks like most people, a little of this, a little of that; but always a joy to visit!  Take a few clicks through her pages and you will see what I am talking about.  Spot on recipes and enough how-to's to make you think you can do it too.

And one last thing...

Every blogger should take a minute and follow these links that I lifted from her blog (the blue letters are all links to her site)...
"I write about food blogging
Is it wrong to post recipes?
Tracking your recipe index and to-do blog list
Photo & Recipe Attribution
And I try to be helpful at times 
Organizing link parties 
10 things I hate about your blog 
Making a quick & easy photo recipe index"
Especially take a look at the "10 things I hate" post.  I break my fare share, but I can justify them in my own mind.  But, read over the post, see how many you break.  If you can't justify them, at least consider why you do what you do.

Somebody needs to write an eBook on how to be a food blogger.  Nice start with these posts Ali.

But, when all is said and done, Ali's blog is about food.  Sweets to savory, everything has the look and sound of someone trying to feed her two girls while she puts something just a bit better on the table.  Family faire with a bit extra...

Click this photo to see
Ali'sOriginal Post
Like these Grilled Beer Brats!!!  And yes Ali, I am that excited (using too many exclamation marks is one of the 10 things she hates about my blog).

I did make a tiny change, a BIG change and added a "three exclamation point" extra because I was sharing these with one of those competitive grillers in my back yard.  Sorry Ali, I just can not leave well enough alone... Even the beautiful in their simplicity recipes like this one.

First is a tiny change... When I make Beer braised brats, I always poke little holes in them with a toothpick first.  Brats have a casing around them that resists tearing.  It is also not porous.  I want the beer to get in and some of the fat to get out as it renders down.  The casing will open tiny holes on their own when you grill these.  But by poking a couple dozen holes throughout the casing while you braise the brats you allow the beer to seep in and flavor the brats.

And a bigger change... I changed Ali's cooking method by changing the amount of her ingredients.  Ali's post uses 3 beers.  I assume that this means she is completely covering the brats in beer and simmering them.  Fine, works great.  I also used three beers (5 actually), but I only cooked with one.  Any guesses what I did with the other 4?

Braising is very simple, form a base of onions (sauted a bit so they are soft).  Then rest the brats on top, add the beer so that it covers the onions and a bit of the brats.  This is plenty (in my opinion).  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  When you open the lid, you will see that the onions have settled and the brats are at least 1/2 way covered.  flip the brats and simmer for another 10 minutes.

And finally, my three exclamation mark addition...

Home made whole wheat, Sesame Seed/Garlic and Sea Salt hot dog buns.

Nah, sorry Ali, that last sentence just doesn't look right... Home made whole wheat, Sesame Seed/Garlic and Sea Salt hot dog buns!!!  There, that's better.  These deserve 3 exclamation points.  But those bun posts are for another day.


And that's it... No real need for a recipe here, Onion Slices, beer, Brats and braise.  Once the brats are cooked, move to the grill and crisp them up.  Only a few minutes on each side.  Serve them soft and hot in the center and crispy grilled exterior.


And save those onions.  They taste AMAZING on the brats.  And just la de da, la de da when your rival for the neighborhood chili cook off comes over for a quick grilling session.  Start to intimidate early (that's why I made the buns).

While I always urge you to visit the blogs I talk about.  I REALLY, REALLY urge you to take a tour of Ali's JAM HANDS blog.  Look at the beautiful clean look her blog has, read over her recipes and pay close attention to her "BLOGGING" category; lots of great information (some deserve three exclamation points).  I know after being set in my ways with over 700 posts that I have written, I am going to try my best to be a better blogger from reading her tips.  While I have tried to have a little fun with the three exclamation points, Ali, I do pledge to try to only use an exclamation point from now on when i am actually excited.

But that will be hard, as food and food bloggers is exciting!  I love my hobby!!!


So, if I have tweeked your interest in Ali and the JAM HANDS Blog, head on over and say HI for me!

And for a quick look at what she blogs, click on the logo link image to the right.  You will see all the eRecipeCards that Ali has submitted to eRecipeCards.com.  You can add her recipes to your eRecipeBox (once you have a free account).

See how useful the site is and how easy it is to find new favorite bloggers!

These posts continue to highlight bloggers and recipes that I have found on  "eRecipeCards.com"..



6 comments:

  1. Hehehe. I'm glad you enjoyed reading through my blogging category of posts. I have been neglecting that area of posts lately and I need to get back to them. :)

    I still struggle with the exclamation points. I do!!! I find I am much more casual when I leave people comments. I use "LOL" and "OMG" and exclamation points galore. I just try to tone myself down when I write my posts. :O) Oh I use a lot of smilies too! ;)

    Thank you so much for the feature. I am honored that you took the time to review my site and the Beer Brats recipe.

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  2. These brats look fantastic...especially in those gorgeous buns...mmmm mmmm mmmm!

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  3. Yum, I love brats, great looking recipe!

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  4. Hey in France one year, we cooked our turkey in our Webber on Christmas Day Dave!
    GREAT looking bangers, Britspeak for Brats!
    Another great new blog to check out!
    Karen

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  5. Hey Karen ,we beat you in taht every summer..taht is when we celebrate Xmas and cook Turkey
    And I love these sausages.And grilling I amd doing all year around.If not possible outside we move inside:)

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  6. Great job on the brats, and I follow Ali also, so fun to read! Thank you for linking your wonderful recipe to Fat Camp Friday. I would also love for you to join my new forums and link up your website and any linky parties you host! Have a great weekend!

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