"These are some of the finest brats I've ever tasted." - Louis Gnarf

So, I'm from Wisconsin. I've become a big fan of Wisconsin's National Food, the Bratwurst. For those of you not from the midwest, a bratwurst is a German-style pork sausage. It's a staple of barbecues and tailgates all over the state.

I've attempted to bring several Wisconsin things to my friends in Iowa. I've been very successful with some (bratwurst, sheepshead) and not successful with others ("bubbler", the Packers). So, this recipe has undergone a lot of tweaking in the past months, and now I'm ready to share.

So, without further ado...

The E-Falk Bratwurst Recipe


The idea is to marinate the bratwurst for an amount of time before cooking-- I prefer 2-3 hours or more, but if you're in a hurry 45 minutes to an hour will work fine. The brats become fully cooked in their marinade but are briefly seared on a charcoal grill for added flavor.


  • 2 quarts water

  • 1 bottle dark beer (Michelob Amber Bock works well)

  • 1 onion, finely minced

  • 1/2 clove garlic, finely minced

  • 1 stick butter, not finely minced

  • 8 bratwurst


Bring the water and beer to a boil. As soon as they start to boil, bring the heat back to a low simmer and add the onion, garlic, and butter. Stir early, stir often. Shortly thereafter, after the butter melts, add the bratwurst.

The idea is to cook the brats slowly, so don't let the mixture boil after this point. Keep the heat low, to cook the brats through without burning them. Simmer them here for as long as is practical, though if it's going to be any more than a couple hours, keep the heat as low as possible.

When the charcoal grill is ready, transfer the brats to the coals. Since they should already be cooked through (up to an internal temperature of 170 degrees), simply grill them to your taste and serve. They should be served in brat buns with ketchup, mustard, and chopped onions available. Some people like sauerkraut, but we point at them and laugh. I prefer horseradish mustard, like Silver Spring Beer & Brat mustard, but a regular brown (or even yellow) mustard will do.

For a true Wisconsin picnic (at least Falk family style), serve with potato salad or pasta salad, baked beans, and a pitcher of fresh iced tea.