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Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions

Posted Dec 05 2012 5:59am

When we were in Texas a couple weeks ago, our friend Morgan made the most insanely delicious beer brats for dinner. She also made ribs, sweet potato grits and roasted veggies. It was quite the meal and after returning home to California, no matter how hard I tried, I could just NOT stop thinking about those beer brats.

So….I decided I just had to make them for myself. As soon as humanely possible. I texted Morgan to find out her basic recipe —- bratwurst, beer and onions — then went to work. If you’ve never tried beer brats before, do yourself {and your loved ones!} a favor and try this recipe soon. The sausages are simmered in a holiday brew with caramelized onions, garlic and a bit of brown sugar then finished on the grill for that great smoky finish.

For these, I used this yummy seasonal beer from Anchor Brewing company in San Francisco. When Christie was visiting last weekend we tried to visit this brewery as a fun indoor activity since we were experiencing superstorm 2012 outside. However, apparently they book six months out for the free brewery tours! wow. That’s all I have to say about that.

You could also use pumpkin beer or any ol’ beer! Morgan said she’s made these brats with pumpkin beer before and they were especially delicious.

After you simmer the brats in the beer, you finish on the grill and reduce the beer and onions down to a thick, magical, delicious sauce. Spoon the sauce and caramelized onions over the grilled brats and you’ll swoon. Or, spoon the sauce over the grilled brats, squeeze on some spicy barbecue sauce then slap a bun on it and eat it like a glorified hot dog. Either way, you’re gonna love it.

Aaaaaand I love you.

Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions

serves 4


1 lb bratwurst sausage (about 4 links)

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 bottle beer (12 oz), preferably seasonal or flavored (i.e. pumpkin beer or holiday beer)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


Turn on the grill outside and let it heat up.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes, until golden. Add the thinly sliced garlic and saute for another three minutes until toasty.

Add the bratwursts to the pan, along with the beer. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. The bratwursts should have turned white at this point.

Remove the sausages with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. Turn the heat to high so the beer mixture boils again. Add the salt, brown sugar and Worcestershire. Stir well and continue boiling.

While the “sauce” is boiling, grill the sausages for only about 5 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill. They have cooked in the beer so you just want to finish them on the grill and get those lovely caramelized grill marks.

When done, bring the sausages back inside. At this point, your beer should have reduced down to about a quarter of a cup of liquid. Place grilled brats back in the beer sauce and spoon sauce over.

Serve brats with sauce and onions on top.


45 minutes

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