Hofbrau Brats with Caramelized Onions

I had decided to take advantage of what was promising to be a fairly slow period at work to take some time off…a 10 day sabbatical to be precise. Not sure if I was going to be bored out of my mind and clamoring to be back in the throes of cubicle dementia, I figured, what the heck? No pain no gain right? I have to say…it was glorious! 10 days of freedom, unfettered by the chains of sales mania and free to roam where I may please. Among my enjoyable and aimless roamings, I found myself at the local Trader Joe’s sampling the variety of unique and interesting fare that it has been known for.

Among them, to my utter delight, was a package of what they called their “Hofbrau Brats”…pork bratwurst made with their own bock beer. I was immediately intrigued, but then again, any variety of meat and beer usually has my rapt attention. I couldn’t wait to bring these babies home and try them out! Of course, that brought about the next question, “Just how should I make these??”

When all else fails and your recipe cup runneth dry, throw in some caramelized onions, more beer, and make a sandwich! Ok, maybe that isn’t really the natural conclusion that most people come to, but this is what my brain immediately jumped to and I ran with it. These brats came out wonderfully…juicy, flavorful, and proof positive that you can never go wrong with caramelized onions, beer, and meat. Honestly, why hasn’t this been made into a food commandment by now?

Hofbrau Brats with Caramelized Onions
As envisioned by TastyDesu

1 large onion, sliced
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 12oz bottle beer, preferably dark
1 package Trader Joe’s Hofbrau brats
1 tablespoon olive oil

5 sandwich rolls (I used ciabatta, but any type of crusty bread will be wonderful)
Cheese (I used Swiss, but feel free to use your own favorite)
Mustard (I used a harvest coarse ground dijon)


Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan with a heavy bottom. Add in garlic and saute until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add in onions and continue cooking until onions are soft, brown, and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. The trick to caramelizing onions is to not stir too often…as the onions start to brown and stick to the pan, leave them for a bit to brown before you stir, this allows them time to brown and caramelize, but not so long that they burn.

Add in brats and pour in beer. Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until all beer has evaporated, about another 10 minutes, flipping brats over once about halfway through. Split your rolls, line with mustard and cheese, and top with bratwurst and plenty of the caramelized onion mixture. Enjoy!


~ by tastydesu on January 19, 2011.

3 Responses to “Hofbrau Brats with Caramelized Onions”

  1. Yum! Can I come for dinner? 10 days off?!!! You lucky, lucky girl. Hope you are still enjoying those days! 🙂

  2. Should I flip over the brats at any time, maybe halfway through cooking them?

    So excited to try this, thanks!!

    • Hi RS, yes, please flip the brats over about halfway so that they’re cooked evenly and all the way through. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂 I’ve amended the recipe to reflect this also. Hope yours turn out great!

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