Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Red Hot Brats

Red Hot Brats
(Remember were talking sausages here not spoiled children...these brats rhyme with "hots" not "hats.")

The other day I caught a promo for the Johnsonville "Don't Pierce the Brat" Music VideoContest. Under normal circumstances, I couldn't agree with the sausage company's sentiment more. Sausages on the grill should never be pricked or pierced in any manner - they should be handled gently as to not allow all those tasty juices to escape. Save the flavor for yo' mouth!

Except.  All this summer I've been pricking and piercing my favorite Johnsonville Stadium Brats before grilling to allow spicy, smoky, garlicky flavors IN. Yep...I stab the sausages all over (kind of therapeutic, actually) and marinate them in a spicy bath of fresh-sliced jalapenos and chopped garlic, smoky chipotle powder and apple juice - the juice carries the heat throughout the brat and the sweetness gives balance to the heat. Since the brats are fully cooked to begin with, they don't take much time on the grill at all so all that juicy heat stays right where it is.

Consider yourself warned....the heat these babies are packing is not for the faint of heart! In fact, a batch of these would be right up there heat-wise with a really spicy andouille sausage. Come to think of it, these would make a very nice addition to shrimp and sausage gumbo! (Note to self: make extra this fall for GUMBO!!!!) 

For now, though, I'll continue to enjoy them tucked into a bun (gluten-free in my case), slathered with a little mustard (Bone Suckin' Mustard is my fave) and crowned with some crisp diced Vidalia onion or even some sweet onion relish. You just might say I 'brot' the heat! Or maybe not. 
Red Hot Brats

  • 1 package Johnsonville Stadium Brats, pierced on all sides with the tip of a sharp knife - BE CAREFUL!
  • 10 ounce bottle of apple juice
  • 2 LARGE jalapenos - sliced thinly into rings - leave the ribs and seeds intact
  • 1 t. chipotle chili powder - available at Penzey's or the Latin section of the supermarket
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a quart zip top bag, seal & mix well. Open and put in the pierced brats, squeeze out all the air and seal tightly. Let marinate overnight.

Brats hangin' out in their jalapeno, chipotle and garlic marinade. Ahhhhhh...
The next day, remove the sausages from the marinade, dry them with paper towels and grill until beautifully browned on all sides. Remove as soon as they're browned. Great on good buns with a smear of mustard and chopped onion or onion relish!

NOTE: These are pretty amazing on the smoker, too! Don't oversmoke them, though...just a light smoking - half an hour to an hour tops over applewood chips. Yum.
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