As good as a properly grilled brat in a bun along with a good amount of spicy brown mustard and smothered in grilled peppers and onions is, for the sake of my family I can’t just serve them prepared that way all the time. They just don’t appreciate the pure Wisconsin brat eating procedure as much as I do. So coming up with a main course was my challenge recently.
There’s really nothing all that original about this recipe. I took an existing recipe and added a little Embers & Flame twist to pump up the flavors a little. The result was a hit and I’m sure this will not be the last time we whip up a batch of Johnsonville Brat Au Gratin. The recipe is floating around on the internet and while most of the versions use boxed au gratin potatoes that wasn’t about to happen at my house. No boxed potato side dishes are going to find space on our pantry shelves.
- 1 package fresh Johnsonville Original Bratwursts
- 3 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 cup shredded medium sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon BBQ dry rub
- Pre-heat your smoker to 225 degrees.
- Smoke brats until done. Use as low a temperature as possible. It's important to cook at a temperature low enough that the casings on the brats do not split. If the casings split all the flavorful goodness will drip out. Remove from smoker when done and allow to rest until almost room temperature.
- While brats are cooling bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to a mild simmer and add the potato slices. Cook potatoes for five minutes or until almost fork tender. Drain potatoes and return to pot.
- When brats are cooled, slice into ½ inch thick slices.
- Fry the brat slices in a pre-heated hot cast iron skillet until golden brown. Using a strainer remove the brat slices from the skillet, adding them to the potatoes in the pot, leaving any drippings in the pan. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the drippings and stir gently until melted. Add ¼ cup flour and whisk until combined with the butter and drippings. Add milk and stir/whisk until thickened. Add shredded cheese and stir to combine.
- Pour thickened cheese mixture into the pot with the potatoes and brat slices. Stir gently to combine and coat everything.
- Return potatoes and brats to the cast iron skillet, wipe off any excess cheese mixture on the outside of the skillet.
- Bake at 350 degrees in the oven or back on the smoker or grill until hot and golden brown on the top.
- If you're using a charcoal grill cook with indirect heat at as low a temperature as you can get. Make sure to use wood to add a little smoke flavor.
This blog post is the result of a partnership between Peppered Pig Media and Johnsonville Sausage Co. I received the brats at no charge from Johnsonville.