The Best Damned Hot Dog and Bratwurst Recipe I Know

Get the recipe here.

The Story:

There’s just something about sausage.  Aside from being delicious, it happens to be tremendously flexible.  Sausages, cooked up and served on a tasty fresh bun are one of those things most people grow up loving.  Be it brats or hot dogs, there’s just that soft spot we all have for them (and if you don’t love a good hot dog, well, move on you heathen!).  When I was a kid I went a whole year eating nothing but hot dogs (or so my parents are happy to tell everyone). I really can’t argue, I love the damned things.

When I was a kid, my Dad was the one (knowingly or unknowlingly) who set me on the path to this recipe.  Aside from old school boiled hot dogs (I have fond memories of my dad picking up hot dogs for me at gas stations), the other hot dog I grew up with was the movie theatre roller hot dog (which I also enjoy, fyi).  My dad however, changed all of that when one day he introduced me to the joys of fried hot dogs.  While messy, and possibly painful to cook, they were head and shoulders above the gas station weenies I had enjoyed before.  My dad taught me how to fry those tasty hot dogs in butter.  If you’ve never tried it, I recommend giving it a try.

Then in the early ’90’s, my dad took me to his hometown of Miami, FL to meet his Dad.  While there, he took me to one of his childhood haunts, a place called Mae and Daves.  Now, when my dad went there as a kid, it was a very different place than when he introduced me to it.  When I went, it had a hotel full of prostitutes next door, a pretty eccentric auto painting shop across the street, and was in the middle of Little Havana.  That being said, it also had some amazing 1/4lb beer steamed hot dogs (something my dad and I sought to duplicate at home).

In 1989, at the ripe old age of 13, my dad took me on a trip to Europe.  One of the places we went to repeatedly was a Wurst shop at the Munich train station.  Basically, a German version of a corner burger shop but with sausages instead of burgers.  The sausages (bratwurst and weisswurst) were grilled on a flat top and served with a nice roll.  They were fantastic.

All of these things led to this recipe.  Its simple but delicious.  My kids love it.  My wife loves it.  Hell, I love it.

This recipe combines a bit from all of these memories.  The sausages steam in beer to begin with, then fry in butter with onions at the end.  Good brown mustard and a hearty beer pair up to add flavor.  Add in a good roll, and top the sausage off with the caramelized onions from the pan and you will find your sausage happy place.

This one is for my dad – thanks for all the great memories.

Notes:

This recipe works great for hot dogs or sausages of many types.  Get a good hot dog (I really like the Private Selection Brisket variety from Kroger’s) or whichever version of Brat you like.  Either one will work in this recipe.  You can use the same recipe, minus the mustard and it will even work for Italian Sausages.  The recipe also keeps fairly well if you’re tailgaiting and not cooking on site.

Use a good mustard for this.  You do not need much in the recipe, but a little goes a long way – so pick a good one.  I recommend Lusty Monk products since they are consistently fantastic.

As for beer, I recommend a nice Negra Modelo to cook this with, as well as to enjoy it with.

Enjoy!