Beer Bratwurst and Onions Recipe Plus 7 Oktoberfest Dishes

by heidi on October 4, 2012

Hello, my name is Heidi. Classic German name right? I even fit the demo: blue eyes and blonde hair—thanks more to my colorist than my genes as I’ve gotten older—but I can still claim it, right? Please say yes. Please.

Beer Bratwurst and Onions from FoodieCrush

You might think I was named after the classic children’s book, or maybe an ancestor who traipsed about the countryside, blonde braids wrapped about her bobbing head as she delivered steins of brew to very happy citizens.

Well, that’s about half right.

Yes, it’s a pretty German name and my German immigrant grandmother was pleased with the choice, but my naming was also influenced by another Heidi, a family friend who did indeed deliver beer. Back in the day she and her husband owned the oldest bar in Utah complete with a stuffed head of a St. Bernard on one wall and dollar bills pinned to the ceiling. Heidi was gorgeous, blonde and the funnest person in the one-room joint. Let’s just say that legend has it that the top of the bar saw the bottom of her heels more than once. Am I like her? Buy me a drink sometime and maybe you’ll find out for yourself.

At our home, dishes from my youth like Weinerschnitzel and Rouladen often displaced the classic American favorites like Pot Roast and Roast Chicken that my husband’s family grew up with. They’re the flavors I was brought up on. Liverwurst and pickles instead of peanut butter and jelly.

So when Oktoberfest rolls around I’m happy to stand in line, bellying up to pickled cabbage and black forest cake.

This virtual Oktoberfest feast starts with the cornerstone of nearly every German-American picnic or Superbowl game day: Bratwurst.

Beer Bratwurst and Onions from FoodieCrush

I love brats. I love them steamed, grilled and even boiled. Give me a slather of grainy mustard and a brat on a soft bun and I am good to go.

Our friend Tim hails from Wisconsin and although he now lives in Los Angeles, his heart still hankers for the midwest. Wisconsin is a U.S. State with a bevy of German descendants. Who like beer. And football. And sausage.

A few years ago Tim cooked us his famous bratwurst for a Superbowl get together. Stewed in beer with sliced onions and then loaded on soft rolls and my favorite grainy mustard, the only thing missing were the pickles. But I’m a picklehead and that’s just my opinion.

This recipe is a riff on Tim’s version, but pretty close to his intent. And as delicious as I remember.

Beer Bratwurst and Onions

Yield: 6 dogs

Beer Bratwurst and Onions


6 bratwurst sausages
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 onions, thickly sliced
1 12-ounce bottle amber ale or nut brown ale
6 hoagie buns


  1. In a cast iron or regular skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Nestle bratwurst among onions, add bottle of ale and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally until beer cooks down and is evaporated. Remove onions and set aside. Raise the heat to medium high and brown sausages evenly on all sides. Serve on hoagie buns with onions and coarse, grainy mustard. Add sauerkraut if desired.

Get ready to gorge, it’s time to don your lederhosen and load up your steins. Prost!

Rachel adapts this classic recipe by adding one of my favorite herbs to Spache the Spatula‘s Hot German Potato Salad.

With just four basic ingredients, Emily and Nick have sworn off ever again buying spatzle in a bag thanks to their recipe for The Culinary Couple‘s Homemade Spatzle.

A stint living in Germany schooled Erica in the finer points of German eating, and it ain’t all meat with Le Petit Ogre‘s German Noodle Salad .

Sydney makes little bundles of German joy with a secret but essential ingredient in Crepes of Wrath‘s German Meatballs in Mushroom Sauce.

The sweet side of the cabbage dish scale, Emily has created One Lovely Life‘s version of German Red Cabbage with enough pucker to keep you awake and accents sausage and weinerschnitzel just right.

Ellie shares a classic look at a multi-cultural recipe for German Potato Pancakes from Almost Bourdain. 

Deeba showcases a classic German dessert that brings chocolate, cream and cherries together to create a dense and delcious Black Forest Cake from Passionate About Baking.

Related Recipes
Family Food Flashback and Some Der Weinerschnitzel
A Tribute to Brad Pitt and My Mini Hot Dog Rolls
Chicken and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers Plus 5 Stuffed Pepper Favorites 

Thanks for reading and please keep in touchSubscribe to Foodie Crush and follow me on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest and check out Foodie Crush magazine and  Cookie Cravings cookbook.


Posted in: entrees,meat and seafood,recipes,sandwiches

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn October 4, 2012 at 2:38 am

Gosh you’ve managed something I never thought was possible – to make German food look and sound appealing! Lovely round up.


Martyna @ Wholesome Cook October 4, 2012 at 4:51 am

Our local pub just started to serve Oktoberfest specials this week and Bratwurst is one of them. But I think I’d rather make it at home your way and serve with that red cabbage salad. Perfect with a glass of Wheatbeer.


Sarah October 4, 2012 at 6:28 am

Those look delicious! I’ve lived in Wisconsin all my life and bratwurst makes me think of home. <3


nadia October 4, 2012 at 7:59 am

beeing a german reader of your blog, I really appreaciate that you write about german food. Although it is kind of sad that Germany and german food is always associated with the october fest….the food theire isn’t that special – the october fest is about beer, so the food is just average.
I really live that you included Spätzle in your list, but one should eat them with gravy! Have you ever tried Kässpätzle/Cheesespaetzle??
Just one small error: you wrote about Weiner Schnitzel – it is actually Wiener Schnitzel, named after the austrian town Wien/Vienna, and by that, it’s not really german ;)


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking October 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

I am half German, so of course I love a good brat! My great grandfather used to deliver German beers in Chicago on one of the last horse and buggies so I truly loved the story about Heidi.


Roni October 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

In Germany Octoberfest is celebrated in September along with other areas in the USA that were originally settled by German immigrants. Octoberfest is all about the beer but its great to introduce German food once a year. One very popular food in Germany is Curry Wurst. I have been trying to find a recipe that tastes like the real thing.


Adri {Food-N-Thought} October 4, 2012 at 10:46 am

Oh yes! I will take Bratwurst and beer any day!


Barbara | Creative Culinary October 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

Though named Barbara I’m a good part German though it was my great-grandparents who came over from the ‘old country.’ Dishes like this are such a part of our family history and bring back so many wonderful memories. Gorgeous.


Veronica of Muy Bueno October 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Hi there Heidi…you know I’m Lovvvvvving this post….I do love German bratwurst, schnitzel, potato salad, and of course their beer and your pictures look amazing…I just might have to head out to a local Oktoberfest this weekend and grab me some good ‘ole wurst on a brotchen (bread)…oh and a tall ice cold German beer. Tschoos


marla October 5, 2012 at 6:12 am

I thought that was you I bumped into on the top of the bar the other night. Geesh.
Send over some brats and we can be friends again ;)
Love the comforting cool weather food.


Joe September 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Really enjoy reading your blog. German food/cooking have lot’s of similarities to Hungarian cooking.
I was looking for how to make Beer Bratwurst from scratch. Keep up the great job!


Lorie October 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Hi where is the german pancake recipe? I can’t find it. Thanks!


heidi October 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm

It’s in an image on the page.


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