This recipe plays up the malty, roasted notes in dark beers, with a glug of maple syrup and a few spoonfuls of sweet stone-ground mustard. It's a simple way to bring a little extra oomph to your grilled brats this summer.
Why marinate your brats in beer? Apart from adding flavor, the process can actually prevent those nasty carcinogenic compounds from forming in your grilled meat. Darker beers, like stouts, seem to have a greater effect than lighter beers, like pilsners (a 90% inhibition rate, according to this 2014 study!), so grab a bottle of Guinness and dunk those links!
Feel free to add a squirt of your favorite mustard to the finished sandwich, or get fancy with the quick Red Pepper Relish.
Beer- and Maple-Marinated Bratwurst
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
1 bay leaf
Red Pepper Relish, optional to serve
Whisk the beer, maple syrup, mustard, and bay leaf together in a bowl, then pour into a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add the brats and marinate overnight or up to 24 hours.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium direct heat (about 350°F to 400°F).
Toast the buns or rolls on the grill, if desired, then remove and set aside on a platter.
Remove the brats from the marinade and place on the grill. Cook, flipping and turning as needed, for 7 to 10 minutes, until the skins are browned and the internal temperature registers 140°F.
Nestle a brat into each bun and top with red pepper relish or your favorite condiments.