Growing up, I spent a lot of time visiting my dad’s side of the family in Wisconsin. In fact, we even lived there for a couple of years when I was quite young. During that time, I became a bit of an authority on two of the state’s most famous foods – cheese and brats.
It was therefore with great pleasure that I recently accepted an offer from the very fine folks at Smithfield* to take their new Craft Collection line of bratwurst for a spin on the grill. With the collection, Smithfield is teaming with some of the nation’s finest handcrafted beers to help take your brat grilling game to a whole…’nother…level!
As part of our partnership, Smithfield challenged me to think beyond the bun with their Craft Collection Limited Batch Smithfield Yuengling Traditional Lager Bratwurst which I found at my local Kroger.
On their own, the brats are juicy and full of flavor, with the perfect kiss of Yuengling as if they had been soaking in a lager beer bath prior to hitting my grill. Once cooked, the brats, along with some charred peppers, became the centerpiece of a grilled Stromboli. In an ode to my days in Wisconsin, I also created a beer cheese dipping sauce for the Stromboli featuring sharp cheddar, smoked gouda, and another round of Yuengling Traditional Lager!
The result was the perfect kick-off celebration for the craft collection, one that you can try for yourself via the grilled bratwurst recipe below.
Also be sure to check out the Smithfield website for more recipe inspiration and/or try your own grilled creations featuring the Smithfield Yuengling Traditional Lager Bratwurst and share them with @SmithfieldBrand and @Grillocracy via social media!
BRATWURST AND CHARRED PEPPER STROMBOLI WITH YUENGLING LAGER CHEESE SAUCE
YIELD: Serves 4
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes
2 red bell peppers
1 lb. (16 ounces) store bought pizza dough*
1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
* ABOUT THE PIZZA DOUGH: If your grocery store doesn't sell pre-made pizza dough, many pizzerias will sell a dough ball upon request
Yuengling Lager Cheese Sauce:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup Yuengling Traditional Lager
2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup smoked gouda cheese
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Prepare the grill for direct cooking, adjusting the vents to bring the temperature to approximately 400 degrees.
Place the bell peppers on grill and allow them to cook for approximately 15 minutes, turning every few minutes until evenly charred all over. As the peppers char, add the bratwurst and grill until lightly charred and cooked through (160 degrees internal temperature).
After removing the charred peppers and bratwurst from the grill, place the pizza stone** on the grill's main cooking grate and cover the grill so that the pizza stone can pre-heat.
Once cooled, use a sharp knife to remove the top and bottom from each charred pepper. Make a single incision from the top to the bottom of the peppers to open them up then remove any remaining stem, seeds, and membrane. Cut peppers into thin strips and set aside. For the bratwurst, slice into 1/4-inch rounds.
To assemble the stromboli, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14x10-inch rectangle. Top the dough with 1 cup of grated smoked gouda cheese, leaving a 1-inch border around the rectangle. Spread charred peppers and sliced bratwurst over the cheese.
Starting on one 14-inch side of the rectangle, begin rolling the covered dough into a log while folding in the sides to seal as you roll. When complete, place the Stromboli on the pizza stone, making sure that the seam side is on the bottom.
Cover the grill and allow the Stromboli to cook for approximately 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove the Stromboli from the grill and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife and serving along with the Yuengling Lager cheese sauce.
Yuengling Lager Cheese Sauce:
In a small saucepan, combine butter and flour and whisk over medium heat to create a roux. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the milk. Return the pan to the heat and add the beer. Allow the mixture to simmer for 3-5 minutes until it begins to thicken. As the mixture simmers, toss the cheese with the cornstarch until the cheese is coated. Add the cheese and constantly stir until the cheese has completely melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce then season with Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste. Remove the sauce from the heat and serve immediately.
* Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Smithfield as part of their 2017 Marinated Bloggers Network but the recipe, opinions, and love of pork are all mine.