We have been extremely lucky this fall, the past few weeks, the evenings have been just warm enough to fire up the grill. We have been taking advantage of the last few weeks of "grilling season".
Since we have been so fortunate, I have a real treat to share with all you!
1 package (5 links) Johnsonville Original or Beer Brats
2 Foil bread pans
2 12 oz. bottles pale ale (I used Blue Moon)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 medium size carrots peeled and chopped (approx. 1 cup)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups Half-n-half
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
8 ounces Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Frank's Hot Sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Heat grill to medium heat, grill brats, low and slow, turning about every 10 ten minutes. After the first complete turn piece each brats. The idea is to let the juices drain out while they are cooking so they will begin to shrivel and dry out a bit.
After about 20 minutes, place the foil loaf tins on the grill away from direct heat. Empty a beer into each one. Allow the beer to slowly warm while the brats are drying out. Once the brats shrivel a bit, place them in the beer (2 brats in pan, 3 in the other), close the lid to the grill and leave them for 10 more minutes. the brats will re-hydrate and soak up some of the beer.
Remove the brats from the grill leaving them in the beer bath. DO NOT discard the beer, we need it for the soup, plus it's alcohol abuse!
Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the chopped onions, celery and carrots and saute until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add in the flour and continue cooking for another 7 minutes, stirring often.
Remove the brats from the beer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm, remember, reserve the beer.
Slowly stir in the chicken broth, stirring to combine.
Add in the reserved beer. Bring to a boil and then slowly add in the cheese, stirring until smooth and almost comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low add in the half-n-half, hot sauce, cayenne, salt, mustard and Worcestershire. Continue cooking until soup has thickened.
Serve garnished with a freshly baked pretzel and a side of brats.
Nat'ly says this is going in the tail-gating hall of fame.