Saturday, May 23, 2009
Summer's here ... get grillin'
In these parts, Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend pretty much book-end summer. We start grilling as soon as we can after the snow melts, but the arrival of Memorial Day makes summer official. Sometimes, we grill all year long, as long as the wind-chill isn't too far down on the thermometer! Italian sausage and brats are one of our grill favs. We like to simmer them in beer and onions first. Not only does it shorten the grilling time, but it also melts out some of the excess fat and adds extra flavor. The technique works for any other uncooked sausages you prefer.
BEER-SIMMERED GRILLED ITALIAN SAUSAGE
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
• 3 pounds uncooked Italian sausage
• 1 onion, thinly sliced
• 3 cups beer, as needed
To poach brats: Prick each sausage a few times. Place sausages in a large kettle or Dutch oven. Add beer and water to cover. (Note: Ratio should be 3 parts beer to 1 part water.) Place over medium heat. Gradually bring liquid to a simmer, not a rapid boil. Poach sausages for 4 to 5 minutes or until half-cooked. Drain sausages in colander.
To prepare grill: Set up grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.
To grill sausages: Grill for 4 to 6 minutes per side or until casings are crisp and nicely browned and sausages are cooked through.
To serve: Transfer sausages to plates or platter. Let rest for 3 minutes. Serve with plenty of mustard!
• Don't crowd the grill: When dripping fat causes a flare-up, you'll need to move the sausages to another section of the grill.
• Arm yourself with a water pistol: A few quick squirts of water will help control flare-ups. But don't overdo it; too much water will put out the fire.