I was supposed to be studying so naturally, I decided to cook a huge meal. Abby helped inspire me with her love for pretzels. Pretzel buns are amazing in this recipe because they are extremely durable and save you from a food-covered embarrassment. There is nothing worse than your hotdog and all the toppings falling out the bottom of the bun and all over your clothes.
The combination of pretzels and bratwursts reminded me of Germany, so naturally I had to go with a German-style beer. I grabbed a Colorado Kolsch by Steamworks Brewing Co. Although it is not a true Kolsch (because real Kolsch’s come from Cologne, Germany), it’s a good, local interpretation. It is light and easy to cook with. I It also went along with the German theme. So, if you’re trying to go on a European vacation but just can’t afford it, turn on some polka music and try out this recipe.
Roasted Red Peppers:
2 red peppers
Caramelized Red Onions:
½ medium red onion
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
2 cans Colorado Kolsch (or some equivalent)
½ yellow onion
4 slices of provolone cheese
chives for topping
There are a lot of parts to this recipe so I’m going to break each one down separately. To be efficient in the kitchen, work in this order:
- Put the peppers in the oven
- Start cooking the onions
- Turn peppers as you cook the onions
- Finish the onions
- Let peppers cool
- Cook bratwursts
Preheat oven to 500. When the oven is ready, place the peppers on a baking sheet and put them in. They should only take about 20 minutes to cook so turn them after 5, 10, and 15 minutes. When they are finished, they will be charred and should have wrinkled skin. Wrap them in some tin foil and let them cool. Once cooled, you’ll want to save some of the juices, so have a bowl ready. Save the juices but peel off the charred skin (it will come off pretty easily). Cut the peppers either into strips or chunks, whatever you prefer. Leftover peppers can be saved in the juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Caramelized Red Onions:
Chop ½ of a red onion into small pieces. Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat. Once melted, add the salt and the onions. Cook slowly until they are tender – they will start to look more translucent and the skin will become a pale pink color. Turn the heat to med-low, add the red wine vinegar and brown sugar. Stir and cook for about 3 more minutes, until the mix becomes a deep pink color. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble.
Take ½ the yellow onion and cut it into quarters. Put the onion and bratwursts into a pan and cover with beer. Turn on high until boiling (the pot will start to get really foamy) and then reduce to a simmer, until the brats are cooked all the way through, 7-9 minutes. When the brats are almost finished, heat up a pan to med-high heat. As soon as the brats are finished cooking in the beer, throw them in the pan to give them a nice, crispy exterior. Another option, which seems more logical, is grilling the bratwursts. This is great if its not freezing outside. Choose your option and prepare accordingly.
Put the brat in the bun (duh). On one side, put some caramelized red onions. On the other side, some red peppers. Top with cheese and freshly chopped chives. Broil it on high for a minute or two, just to melt the cheese, and then eat!