Managing multiple types of bratwurst
We're co-hosting a dinner party with a theme of "Brats, Tots, and Shots" - with a variety of each item. The menu research is delicious :-)
We're sourcing the brats from our local butcher shop, who makes their sausages in-house and offers dozens of varieties. For the party, we're thinking we'll make 3-4 different brats and cut them in half with homemade half-buns so everyone can try multiple kinds.
When it comes to cooking for the party, I think I'll be able to manage. Poaching the brats separately and keeping them sorted while grilling should be doable with dozens of sausages. However, we're doing a tasting of eight varieties of brats (yummy, yummy research) with our co-hosts later this week and I'm only going to make one of each type (there are only four of us). Does anyone have any advice to help keep them straight? Poaching each sausage separately seems impractical/wasteful for only eight sausages. I thought I might mark them to keep them straight, but haven't come up with a method that works for sausage in a casing.
Hi Mitch - You always have the most fun party ideas! :-) My only tip is something they do at the dumpling shop I go to sometimes. They paint the dumpling wrapper with just a small marking made with food coloring so they know which are pork, shrimp, tofu, etc. Each flavor has a corresponding color. There are also edible markers that are used for cake decorating that might do the job as well. Not sure if/how that might work when boiling, but maybe it's worth a trial run? Good luck and have fun at the party! Best, The Milk Street Team
Your dumpling suggestion triggered an idea. I'll try it using toothpicks. For example, one perpendicular skewer = pub brat, two perpendicular = chicken bacon brat, one horizontal through the end = jalapeno brat, etc. I think that should work when braising the sausages. I'll map the grate out when grilling - probably just a line of them front to back so I can have multiple temperature zones side-to-side as needed.
This should work! This week's effort is a test anyway - trying out multiple types of brats, a few kinds of tots, and dessert shots (cookie shot glasses). If we get them confused, we should be able to figure it out by taking a nibble.