Märzen Sugar-Cured Bratwurst

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Serves: 6–8

Märzen Sugar

1 bot­tle Märzen beer

½ cup sugar

1 Tbs salt

Pre­heat the oven to 180°F (82°C). Com­bine the beer, sugar, and salt. Pour the mix­ture onto a bak­ing sheet with sides and let dry in the oven to de­hy­drate un­til com­pletely dry (60–90 min­utes).

Bratwurst

If you’re lim­ited on time, you can sim­ply buy brats and rub them with the Märzen Sugar be­fore you grill them.

5 lb (2.3 kg) pork butt

1 Tbs Märzen Sugar

4 Tbs kosher salt

1 Tbs pow­dered ginger

1 tsp ground white pep­per

½ tsp ground nut­meg

1 Tbs dried sage

½ tsp cayenne pep­per

1 cup (8 fl oz/237 ml) ice cold Märzen beer

Hog cas­ings

Cut the pork butt into 1-inch cubes. Com­bine the sugar, salt, ginger, pep­per, nut­meg, and sage in a large bowl. Add the pork cubes and toss to sea­son. Put the mix­ture in the freezer un­til it is semi-frozen (do­ing so makes it eas­ier to grind). Grind the cold mix­ture with a meat grinder. Trans­fer the mix­ture to a stand mixer with a pad­dle, add the beer to the mix­ture, and whip to emul­sify.

Us­ing a sausage press, stuff the mix­ture into hog cas­ings. Sim­mer the sausages in hot wa­ter un­til the in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture reaches 155°F (68°C).

Malted Kraut

If you’re a home­brewer, you know that the deal with fer­ment­ing is con­stant care. Time, tem­per­a­ture, and hu­mid­ity can make or break the kraut. And in this case, the more malt syrup you put in the kraut, the sourer it be­comes. More sugar means more fuel for those crazy lit­tle Lac­to­bacil­lus bugs (that are great for aid­ing with di­ges­tion) to pro­duce that won­der­ful sour (lac­tic acid) fla­vor.

1 head green cab­bage, thinly sliced 1 onion, thinly sliced

1½ Tbs of salt per quart (0.9 liter) of sliced cab­bage

1 tsp bar­ley malt syrup per quart (0.9 liter) of sliced cab­bage

1 tsp toasted car­away seed, ground

Cold wa­ter to cover

Com­bine the cab­bage, onion, salt, bar­ley malt syrup, and car­away seed in a plas­tic or non­re­ac­tive con­tainer. Add wa­ter to cover the mix­ture. Fill a gallon zipper-lock bag with wa­ter and use it to weigh down the mass and to pre­vent too much air from get­ting in.

Leave the kraut in your garage or kitchen for 3–5 days to start fer­ment­ing and about 2–3 weeks to get a cool fla­vor. Skim any mold from the top and

re­frig­er­ate. 6–8 pret­zel buns Spicy Ger­man mus­tard

To as­sem­ble the dish, grill the bratwurst and cut the pret­zel bun al­most in half length­wise (like a hot-dog bun). Spread mus­tard in the bun, add one bratwurst, and gar­nish with kraut.

Beer sug­ges­tions:

For the Märzen, we sug­gest Ok­to­ber­fest beers from Great Lakes (Cleve­land, Ohio), Left Hand (Long­mont, Colorado), or Sa­muel Adams (Bos­ton, Mas­sachusetts). Pair with a Mu­nich dunkel such as An­dechs (An­dechs, Ger­many) or Ayinger (Ay­ing, Ger­many).

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