As we related in our most recent article for Sears, it’s absolutely vital to poach any and all sausages in beer before exposing their delicate innard-bound deliciousness to the merciless heat of the grill.
This week’s recipe comes from a weeknight of delicious leftover Big Fork sausage, buns from the aforementioned recipe, and cheap beer that did a lot more good for me as a poaching liquid than it did in its former life as a watery bro-beer. If only we could find a use for all the hard lemonades of the world*. You could serve it with the carmelized Dijon Brussels sprouts pictured, but a young JB Mays once made a tearful promise to never push Brussels sprouts on the public. A giant, unhealthy bag of chips will also do just fine.
*Fun fact: 58 percent of all hard lemonade purchases end up in the hands of Chris Hansen from Dateline: NBC.
4 pork sausages
32-64 oz of cheap, bad beer (depending on the size of your pot)
2 red onions, cut into large dice
1 c hot water
1/4 c sugar
2 tbsp kosher salt
1/4 c cider vinegar
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp Dijon
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c olive oil
1/4 c sweet yellow onion, grated, water squeezed out with a towel
4 pretzel rolls
Grated Italian cheese (I used Parmesan-Reggiano), to top
1. Give a half-assed salute to the bad beer and its sacrifice to your meal. Tip it into a pot large enough to hold your sausages and add the porky delights. Bring to a steady simmer.
2. While the sausages simmer, combine the water, sugar, salt, and cider vinegar in a small pan. Place the onions in a heat-proof bowl and bring the pickling liquid to a boil, stirring to incorporate sugar and salt.
3. When liquid boils, remove from heat, pour over onions, and cover. Set aside.
4. Make your mayo by whisking together the yolks, lemon juice, Dijon, vinegar and garlic, then adding your oil in a thin stream. When the mayo is smooth and delicious, fold in the onion and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. When the sausages reach an internal temperature of 135 – depending on your pot and the sausages, it could be 6-12 minutes, pull them out. They’re still undercooked, so no sneaking a taste.
6. Heat the grill to high. Finish the sausages by searing each side to give them the delicious char of a barbecued angel before pulling them off. If you’re worried they’re still underdone in the middle, check with an instant-read thermometer that they’ve gotten to at or near (there will be slight carry-over cooking) 145.
7. Evaluate your pretzel roll while the sausage cool a bit. Are they super-bready? They’re probably super-bready. Might want to hollow those bastards out. No use in cooking a perfect sausage, making your own mayo, then chowing down on a breadwich. But get that pretzel bun to behave and you’re in Flavor Town.
8. Spread mayo on both sides of the bun and top with the sausage. Drain the pickled onions and add liberally. Finish with cheese and an inflated sense of your own superiority.