Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beer-Brined Brats with Hot Thousand Island Slaw

Grilled bratwurst is a summertime favorite, but enjoy the sausages no matter the weather by cooking them in a grill pan. Indoors or outdoors, these brats grill up juicy and flavorful after spending some time in a briny beer bath. It’s a no-fuss preparation—just give the brining an hour and you’re ready to grill.

To top the brats, I made a cabbage slaw with a thousand island-style dressing. It’s creamy and tangy like regular thousand island, with some kick added from a serrano chile and sambal oelek. The spiciness makes a tasty complement for the smoky sausage.

Serves 4


For the Brats
  • 2 12-oz lager beers
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5-6 pink (or black) peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 bratwurst
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 4 bratwurst rolls
For the Slaw
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tbsp ground fresh chile paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and shaved into thin slices
  • 1/3 small red onion, cut into thin vertical slices
  • 1/3 small green bell pepper, chopped

For the Brats
  1. Combine the beer and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaf) in a medium pot, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  2. Submerge the brats into the beer brine, cover, and let stand 1 hour.
Brine Beginning to Boil 
Brats Beginning to Brine
Brined Brats
  1. Light a grill or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with olive oil. Remove the brats from the beer and grill, turning on all sides, until lightly charred on the outside and just cooked through, about 15 minutes total.
Brats Beginning to Grill 
Grilled Brats
Brush the insides of the rolls with olive oil and place 1 brat in each. Top generously with slaw (recipe follows) and serve hot.

Beer-Brined Brats with Hot Thousand Island Slaw
For the Slaw
  1. Combine the serrano chile and next 6 ingredients (through dry mustard) in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Hot Thousand Island Dressing
  1. Combine the cabbage, carrot, red onion, and bell pepper in a medium bowl. Add the dressing and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour (may be made a day ahead).
Slaw Mixture
Hot Thousand Island Slaw

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