RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Beer and Bratwurst Burger

Nothing says Wisconsin more than beer and bratwurst. Whether tailgating at a Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, or Wisconsin Badgers game, the beer and bratwurst are as much the sporting event experience as the action itself. But Wisconsinites don't only eat these during tailgates; all year long you can smell the aroma of bratwurst being cooked on backyard grills across the state. Madison, the state capitol, hosts the World's Largest Brat Festival annually, and Johnsonville Foods, the nation's largest bratwurst maker, is based in Sheboygan Falls. Wisconsin is home to over 58 breweries, including Miller and Pabst. This burger incorporates these two elements that are the essence of Wisconsin.

Ingredients 

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 yellow onions
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2.25 lb 91% lean ground beef
.75 lb bratwurst (approx 3 links)
1 14 oz. can sauerkraut
1 1/4 tsp caraway seeds
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp brown mustard
1/2 cup Wisconsin beer (recommend Leinenkugel Honey Weiss)
1/2 Tbsp marjoram
3/4 tsp celery seed
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 Tbsp white pepper
1/2 Tbsp salt
3/4 tsp parsley
2 Tbsp soft butter
6 hamburger bun sized white hard rolls
6 slices swiss cheese

Instructions 

Preheat grill to high. Add vegetable oil to a heavy skillet and reduce to medium-high heat. Thinly slice 2 onions. Finely chop 2 Tbsp of the onion and set aside. When the oil in the pan starts to ripple, add the thinly sliced onion, stirring until all onions are coated in oil. Reduce heat to medium. Add brown sugar and red wine vinegar to onions and stir. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions turn golden in color. Meanwhile, place ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Take bratwurst and cut off casing (recommend using kitchen scissors). Discard casing and add bratwurst meat to ground beef in the bowl. Wash hands. Chop 2 cloves garlic. Check on onions in pan and add can of sauerkraut, 1/2 tsp caraway seeds, 1 clove chopped garlic, 2 Tbsp brown mustard, and 1/4 cup beer. Stir thoroughly and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally while mixture cooks down. Meanwhile, season bowl of meat with reserved chopped onion, marjoram, celery seed, remaining 3/4 tsp caraway seeds, allspice, white pepper, salt, parsley, remaining 1 clove chopped garlic, and remaining 1/4 cup beer. Mix with hands until meat is evenly seasoned. Form into 1/2 lb. patties approx. 3/4 inches thick. Place burgers on medium-heat grill for 5 min. While burgers cook, slice rolls and spread butter on inside surfaces. Place buttered rolls on the grill with buttered surfaces towards the heat. Flip burgers and cook 2 more minutes. Then scoop sauerkraut mixture evenly onto burgers and add slice of swiss cheese on top. Close grill lid and allow to cook 2 additional minutes while cheese melts. Remove rolls and burgers from grill. Place one burger/sauerkraut patty in each toasted buttered roll and serve. makes six servings.