Head for the grill with these bacon-wrapped bratwurst

It’s summertime, and while my kitchen is not completely closed, I am loath to turn on the oven while I’ve got the air-condition- ing going to keep it comfortably cool. Many nights I’m preparing dinner on the grill and to keep things from getting boring, I’m always on the look-out for new barbecue recipes to add to my collection. Shift gears a minute with me, and recall the early days of The Food Network on television and Emeril Legasse’s show. He introduced us all to the delights of Cajun cooking (the holy trinity of onions/peppers/celery) and his trademark “Shazaam” of added spice as well as the sage wisdom of “Everything tastes better with pork fat!” I adore all flavors of bacon (my pork fat of choice) and would allow that giving up bacon would be more difficult than any other food I can think of. Imagine my delight in finding a recipe that you grill and that includes bacon … does it get any better than that?!? I’ve mentioned in previous columns that one of my favorite ways to have goat meat processed is to have it made into smoked bratwurst. The Germans are really outstanding sausage makers, and I drive 7 hours roundtrip to Muenster, Texas, to have my goats trans- formed into these culinary delights (75% goat meat/25% pork) of meat and spices at Fischer’s Market. We recently had two types of smoked bratwurst made for us — Kielbasa and German. Both are yummy on their own, but are also dynamite in the recipe below. If you want to change things up a bit, try using different flavors of bacon … applewood smoked is mild with a hint of sweetness and peppered bacon is reminiscent of the Southwest. I think regular cut bacon, as opposed to thick cut, is better as it doesn’t make the brat bites too greasy. The dipping sauce is more like those found in the Carolinas than Texas as it has a mustard/vinegar base instead of tomato. The brat bites go well with summer fruit of watermelon, strawberries and peaches and fresh corn on the cob. Heat up the grill and get cookin’.

Bacon-wrapped Brats with Mustard BBQ Sauce

(adapted from a recipe from the Brookshire Grocery Co., Tyler, Texas, summer magazine)

1 pound goat bratwurst ½ c. brown sugar 1 tsp. chili powder 1 tsp. smoked paprika ¼ tsp. black pepper 8 slices bacon, uncooked 16 toothpicks

BBQ Sauce

½ c. yellow mustard ¼ c. apple cider vinegar 1/3 c. honey 1 T. soy sauce 1 T. vegetable oil 1 tsp. chili powder 1 tsp. smoked paprika 1 tsp. onion powder ¼ tsp. salt

24 Goat Rancher | August 2020

½ tsp. black pepper 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Soak toothpicks in water for 30 minutes. Place brats in a skillet and cover with one inch of water or beer. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside to cook for 5-10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine brown sugar, chili powder, paprika and black pepper. Cut each bacon slice in half. Cut each brat into 3 equal-sized pieces. Wrap each brat piece with ½ slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place the wrapped brat pieces in the brown sugar mixture and coat all sides of the meat.

Preheat grill to medium/low heat; grill the brats, turning often, until bacon is crispy (about 5 minutes per side).

In a saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients and cook for 5 mi- nutes, stirring frequently. Serve as dipping sauce for grilled brats.

(Suzanne Stemme lives with her husband, Dr. Kraig Stemme,

DVM, in Alba, Texas. The Stemmes raise Kiko breeding stock at Lake Fork Kikos. You can reach Suzanne via their website: www.lakefork-


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