Gin Braised Bratwurst with Kraut Slaw

Brats get a nice bath in a gin braise before finishing  on the grill — then on to the bun with a zippy kraut slaw. Perfect summertime eats!
Gin Braised Bratwurst with Kraut Slaw

Gin Braised Bratwurst with Kraut Slaw

By Sue Lau

It’s top of the  month and time for #FoodieExtravaganza! This month’s theme is gin. You know I like to cook and leave most of the booze to my blog’s better half (Potable Pastime), although I am a bit of a mad scientist behnd the bar. I do have a martini coming up on the 19th, so even though my cocktail recipes are rare, they pop in  now and again.

At first I was just going to steam these, thinking  of the way the old Lum’s restaurants used to feature hot dogs steamed in beer (anyone out there remember Lum’s?) There used to be one on Rte. 157 in Cahokia when I lived there in the 1970’s.


Eventually it closed, and later on that whole section of road was reworked  because of  the railroad tracks and an overpass. And today, if you hadn’t known  it  had been there, you  wouldn’t know at all. So it has gone the way of the dinosaur. But check out this menu-  it is a hoot.

Lums Menu

But as I was saying, I was thinking about  steaming these except that it is grilling season now.  The Wisconsin way to  treat bratwurst is to braise them in beer and aromatics, then finish on the grill  (usually before the Big Game). And sometimes,  obviously, people like to top those with kraut.  But this is gin of course.

One of the traditional aromatics when cooking sauerkraut is juniper berries. And oddly enough (not so very odd really) juniper berries are used in the making of gin, so both sauerkraut, which goes very well with brats, and gin have that in common. Anyhoo, that’s the reasoning behind it, so you don’t have to think it’s some weird idea I pulled out of a “Chopped” challenge basket. 😉

I did make a  kraut slaw to go with this, which is just a riff off my recipe for sauerkraut salad. It goes really well on top of the brats, the same  way  one might put cole slaw on  top of a hot dog. Of course, bratwurst being at least a *tiny* bit more upscale, at least in my book.

The rest is history.  Of course, in the true fashion of the way Bill was raised in Wisconsin, it being a great summer corn producer, when I grilled the brats to finish them, I also grilled some corn. Basically for those, I toss them on the grill  with a drizzle of olive oil. Let them char the tiniest bit,  then set them to the side of the grill for a couple of minutes until they are cooked through. Then something like a salad or baked potato is nice as well.
Gin Braised Bratwurst with Kraut Slaw

Join me tomorrow when I team up with my blogging friends for my first outing with the #ImprovCookingChallenge, when I will be offering my recipe for Zucchini Tots with Jalapeno Cheddar and Bacon, since it is a Jalapeno and Cheese event, which sounds fantastic to me. I can’t wait to see what everyone has prepared.

And finally, I would like to honor T.R. Crumbley, a fellow food blogger and friend, a word of honor, respect and love on his recent passing. I was very fortunate to have met him at #FWCon ’16 (Food Wine Conference) in Orlando Florida and he was so much fun, so full of happiness and infectious laughter.

He fell to cancer. He was 29. The blogosphere is quite devastated right now.  And I am once again in tears. You can read his amazing blog here:

Gluten-Free Crumbley

Gin Braised Bratwurst with Kraut Slaw

Gin Braised Bratwurst with Kraut Slaw

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Gin Braised Bratwurst with Kraut Slaw
Add one hour prep time to marinate slaw


***For the Bratwurst***

  • 1 pound fresh bratwursts (about 5)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed juniper berries
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ounces gin  (1/4 cup)
  • liberal pinch black pepper

***For the Kraut Slaw***

  • 14 ounce can sauerkraut, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 2 ounce jar pimientos, drained
  • 1 tablespoon coarse, grainy Dijon mustard (Anciennes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Combine ingredients for kraut slaw and refrigerate.
  2. Place brats in a saucepan  with the onion, rosemary, bay leaves, juniper berries, chicken broth,  gin and black pepper.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for thirty minutes. (At this point you can refrigerate the brats until you are ready to grill if needed).
  4. Grill brats on the bbq just long enough to brown them. Or if you like, can finish in a skillet indoors.
  5. Serve brats on hot dog buns with kraut slaw as a topping.

From  the kitchen of

Gin Braised Bratwurst with Kraut Slaw

Foodie Extravaganza

Theme for June: GIN

See all the other gin-spiration for today’s Foodie Extravaganza:

Posting day for #FoodieExtravaganza is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

4 responses

  1. Down south, we just put the sausages straight on the grill but I love the idea of adding even more flavor by braising. Definitely trying it your way next time, Sue. I can’t even, about T.R. Just devastated.

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