Wisconsin Brats and Beer Print Email

2 pounds onions (about 4), cut into 1/2-inch rings
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (12-ounce) cans or bottles beer
2/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 (13 by 9-inch) disposable aluminum roasting pan
2 pounds bratwurst (8 to 12 links)

Brush the onions with the oil and season with pepper; set aside. Combine the beer, mustard, sugar, caraway seeds, and 1 teaspoon pepper in the roasting pan, then add the sausages in a single layer.

For a Charcoal Grill: Open the bottom grill vents completely. Light a large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (100 briquettes; 6 quarts). When the coals are hot, pour them in an even layer over the grill. Set the cooking grate in place, cover, and open the lid vents completely. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

For a Gas Grill: Turn all the burners to high, cover, and heat the grill until hot, about 15 minutes. (Adjust the burners as needed to maintain a hot fire).

Clean and oil the cooking grate. Place the onions on the grill and cook until lightly charred on both sides, 6 to 10 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the onions to the roasting pan with the sausages. Place the roasting pan in the center of the grill, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

Move the roasting pan to one side of the grill. Transfer the sausages directly to the grill and cook until well browned on all sides, about 5 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the sausages to a platter and tent loosely with foil. Continue to cook the onions and beer in the roasting pan until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve the sausages with the onion and sauce.

Note: When the folks at America's Test Kitchen developed this recipe, they tested eight mild lager-style beers. Their tasters chose Budweiser as their top pick, with Miller Genuine Draft coming in second. They don't recommend dark ales and pricier imported beers as they become harsh and bitter when reduced in the sauce.

Serves 6 to 8
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