For being Johnsonville’s January Enthusiast of the Month, (a thrill in itself!!), I received several coupons for free brats, along with some super cool gear for grilling! I have been DREAMING of spring, and these brats and taste-of-spring gifts could not have lifted our spirits more! The weather was less than ideal for me to be outside right now, so I had to settle for figuring out a way to cook these babies indoors to do them “loud and proud” as we used to say back in the midwest! 😉
I opted for a “grilled taste”, but done inside, in my own, cozy, warm kitchen, (versus the arctic TUNDRA we’ve been in outside), on just a simple grill pan right on the stove.
I have to admit, they came out AWESOME this way after I had my doubts that they couldn’t possibly compare to outdoor grilling. I literally shocked myself!
Not too shabby for indoor “grilling”!
Not as fun as being in the hot sun outside, but good enough for February!
Uhm…yea! Those babies looked GORGEOUS. I took my time, as always when cooking brats, and did them low and slow using a metal dome to keep the heat in a bit, while “grilling” to brat perfection. And the glorious little bits of browned goodness were worth fighting for! So if you do them this way, leave those bits on there! Omg…no burnt taste, just concentrated flavor! I had to wash the pan before I was tempted to pick it clean!
So. Since these babies were looking absolutely, red carpet spectacular, I didn’t want to mask them with a whole bunch of unneeded and unnecessary junk that would only take away from their fabulous flavor. 😉
Even my homemade buns seemed like a bit too much this time, and we love them! So what to do?
I got out yet another loaf of frozen bread dough, and thought to up the last project that I did, (my Pepperoni Pizza Dogs), and have some fun making “Pretzel Brat Dogs”with them! 😉 Sounded like a solid gold plan to me! 😀 😉
For a split second, I thought to slice a slit in them and stuff some cheese inside, or even wrap some pre-cooked bacon around them first, and I’m so glad that I didn’t do that!!
Keeping these simple, relying on the wonderful flavor of Johnsonville already there, was absolutely the right way to go!
The only “extra flavors” were just the small amounts of garlic and onion flavors that I added to the egg wash on the outside. Along with a little sprinkling of poppy seeds and kosher salt to mimic a pretzel bun all wrapped around the brats like a soft, warm, flannel stadium blanket! 😀
Or the arms of your loving hubby who FLIPPED over these!! 😀 😉
I have been enjoying Johnsonville brats since high school, and seriously,
these are now my favorite way to enjoy them!
The brat-to-bun ratio could NOT have been better. Not to mention that fact that they held up well, too. Store-bought buns are about worthless. And if you’re not planning on loading them up with say, grilled peppers and onions and the like, and don’t need a sturdy bun to hold all of the goodies and just want the whole brat experience to shine, then this is hands-down the perfect brat nirvana!
These would be perfect for a party, too, because that tasty blanket
kept these bad dogs hot for a good 30 minutes!!
And they were so easy to eat!!
The only other extra flavor we added, was a simple, mustard-onion “relish sauce” that I whipped up. We both LOVE mustard and onions on our brats, so I thought that it would be nice to combine those flavors in a dipping sauce made with simple pantry and fridge items. Just 3 ingredients made for the perfect combination!
Thank you SO MUCH, Johnsonville, for thinking of me and honoring me as your January Enthusiast of the Month! It was a real honor!! We are loyal fans for life because we can always count on your products to be of high quality and a cut above all the rest! 😀
So, if you’re looking for a little taste of spring too, be sure to save, Pin, or bookmark this one! It’s a keeper. 😉 We’re not sure if we ever want brats on even my homemade buns again after this! Absolutely delicious!! Enjoy! 😀
- 5 high quality bratwursts such as Johnsonville, cook until done, let rest
- 1 (1 lb.) loaf frozen bread dough such as Rhodes, thawed, cut into 5 pieces
- (5 cups water + ¼ cup baking soda)
- 2 egg whites beaten with 1 Tbl. cold water
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- poppy seeds, optional
- coarse salt
- Mustard Onion Relish Dipping Sauce:
- 2 Tbl. spicy brown mustard
- 1 tsp. dried minced onion, (could also use very finely chopped fresh onion)
- ⅛ tsp. onion powder
- 1 - 2 tsp. sweet dill pickle relish, optional
- Thaw dough overnight wrapped in plastic wrap.
- Cut thawed dough into 5 pieces, stretch into skinny, long ropes about 3x's the size of the brat. Wrap tightly around each fully-cooked brat, tucking each end ender dough so it won't unravel.
- While you're working on wrapping the brats with dough, bring a saucepan with 5 cups of water to a boil. Add ¼ cup baking soda, stir, and lower heat to just a simmer. (Medium to medium-low heat).
- Add brats, one at a time, to the saucepan of simmering water and gently turn for 30 seconds. Remove with a fish turner or slotted spoon to a nicely sprayed baking sheet.
- Continue with rest while oven is preheating to 375º F.
- When all brat dogs have had a hot bath, in small bowl, whisk egg whites with cold water. Add garlic and onion powder, whisk well to mix. Brush dough well on the top and sides with egg white mixture. Sprinkle tops of each with poppy seeds if you like.
- Sprinkle each brat with coarse salt. As much or little as you like.
- When oven is fully preheated, bake for about 18 - 20 minutes until deep brown on top. *Watch towards end, as they brown quickly during the last few minutes.
- Remove with spatula to plates or serving platter.
- Serve hot with mustard-onion relish sauce for dipping if desired.
- For Dipping Sauce: Mix ingredients in small bowl well. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes or until dried onions have softened, and flavors have had a chance to meld. Pickle relish is just an optional ingredient for those who enjoy it. Add whatever you enjoy!