Beer Braised Bratwurst Burgers with Sauerkraut Slaw and Spicy German Mustard Sauce

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.


To Braise Burgers:
12-16 cups German beer
For the Sauerkraut Slaw:
2 cups well drained sauerkraut (squeeze out all of the liquid)
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar 
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery hearts (with the pale green leaves)
3/4 tsp. fines sea salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the Mustard Sauce:
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Spicy German mustard
1//4 cup prepared mayonnaise 
2 Tbsp. superfine sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the Bratwurst Burgers:
1 challa or brioche style hamburger roll/bun
1/3 cup German beer
 6 oz. fresh bratwurst, casings removed
1/2 cup finely diced celery hearts (with the pale green leaves)
1 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 lbs. ground chuck (80% lean, 20% fat)
avocado or grapeseed oil for oiling burgers and grill For the Buns adn Cheese" avocado or grapeseed oil for oiling buns
6 challa or brioche hamburger sized rolls
12 oz. sliced Basil's Smoked Cheese
or substitute smoked gouda
Finish the Burgers:
Sauerkraut Slaw
6 Beer Braised Bratwurst Burgers



1) Prepare your Grill: FOR A GAS GRILL: If you have a grill that has more than one secton, heat one section to high and one to medium. If you only have one section, heat it to medium-high. FOR THE BEER BATHS: Place two disposable (aluminum) heavy duty lasagna pans, side-by-side, onto the hottest part of the grill (I like to use two heavy duty pans sandwiched together in place of each single pan). Add enough beer to fill each pan 1/3 full. Bring the pans of beer to a low simmer (you may have to adjust the heat to keep them at a low simmer). Prepare the Sauerkraut Slaw, Mustard Sauce, and Bratwurst Burgers while the beer comes to a simmer. 2) For the Sauerkraut Slaw: Combine the 2 cups well drained sauerkraut, 1/2 cup superfine sugar, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup thinly sliced red onion, 1/2 cup finely diced celery hearts, 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt and 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper in a small mixing bowl and stir until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. 3) For the Mustard Sauce: Combine the 1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup spicy German mustard, 1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp. superfine sugar, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine and dissolve the sugar. Cover and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve (can be prepared up to 1 week ahead-cover and refrigerate if preparing more than 2-3 hours in advance). 4) For the Bratwurst Burgers: Tear the challa or brioche hamburger roll into little pieces and place into a small bowl. Add the 1/3 cup German beer and squish the bread and beer with your fingers until the bread is completely saturated with the beer. Set aside for a few minutes while you prepare the meat mixture. Crumble the 6 oz. fresh bratwurst into a large mixing bowl. Add the 1/2 cup finely diced celery hearts, 1 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt, 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper and use your hands to thoroughly combine the mixture (again-squish it through your fingers). When you are sure the ingredients in the large bowl are evenly mixed, gently squeeze most of the beer out of the bread soaking in the small bowl (you don't want it drippign with beer, but the bread should still be very moist) and ad it to the bratwurst mixture in the large bowl. Again-squish the mixture through your hands until very evenly mixed. NOTE: You don't wnat to over handle the ground chuck, so it is important that everything is evenly mixed before you add it to the bratwurst mixture. Crumble the ground chuck over the bratwurst mixture in the large bowl. Use your hands to toss the beef with the bratwurst mixture -like a salad- crumbling the beef chunks as you mix. You want to handle the meat as little as possible while still mixing it evenly and thoroughly. When mixed thoroughly, divide into 6 burgers/patties (a slightly rounded or "heaping" 3/4 cup meat mixture per burger- if you have a little meat mixture left over, make the chef a little spicy meat ball). Form each portion into a patty that is about 4 1/2" in diameter. Place burgers onto a clean platter and lightly coat each burger on both sides with the avocado or grapeseed oil. Chill the burgers if not cooking them within 1 hour (remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling). 5) Cook the Burgers: NOTE: Have a spray bottle filled with water ready (grillside) when you cook the burgers to put out any flare-ups (flames) that result from the melting/dripping fat from the burgers. Make sure your grill is heated to high heat. The beer should be simmering by now. Use the avocado or grapeseed oil to lightly oil the grill. Grill the burgers over high heat for about 3 minutes per side (high heat), or until well seared on each side. When the burgers are well seared on both sides remove them from the grill and place them into one of the beer baths simmering on the grill. Let them cook in the beer for about 10 minutes, turning them once. While they cook, prepare and toast the buns. 6) For the Buns: Gently remove a little of the excess bread from the inside of each top bun (these litte "divots" in the top buns will help the Sauerkraut Slaw stay on the burgers. Lightly oil the cut sides of the buns with avocado or grapeseed oil. Place the buns, cut sides down onto the grill (medium high heat) for about 1-2 minutes. Remove the buns from the grill as they are done to a clean plate. Place about 2 oz. of the sliced cheese onto the cut side of each bottom bun and place teh bottom buns back onto the grill (cheese side up) for about 1 minutes to melt the cheese. Place one top and one bottom bun onto each of 6 serving plates. 7) To Finish the Burgers: Place the Sauerkraut Slaw into a colander set over a bowl to drain (reserve liquid to store any extra Sauerkraut Slaw) and press with the back of a spoon to remove any excess liquid. Spread about 2 Tbsp. of the Mustard Sauce onto the cut sides of each top bun. Spread about 1 Tbsp. on top of the cheese on the bottom bun. Remove the burgers from the beer baths and lightly blot them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Place one burger onto each bottom bun. Place about 1/4-1/3 cup of the drained Sauerkraut Slaw into the "divot" in each top bun and quickly flip the top buns onto the burgers. NOTE: Any extra Slaw can be stored in the liquid and refrigerated. SERVES 6.