Friday, August 28, 2009

Seitan Beer Brats

How many times have you seen the commercial for the Johnsville Brat Beer Hot tub? The commercial came on this morning and I decided my husband would like a healthy version of this, but with a twist of course. I was going to put the beer in the brat rather than the brat in the beer.

I grabbed my Charcuterie book to find out what was in bratwurst and surprisingly it is pork, white pepper, ginger and nutmeg with heavy cream and egg. This made me think that the commercial bratwurst sold in this country isn’t bratwurst at all. When I checked the Johnsville website no dairy or egg. However, the Johnsville Beer brat on the website sounds interesting and a better match for the beer idea. The Johnsville beer brat includes beer, lemon and sweetener. That is where I began the process.

To get a somewhat fatty (think squishy) texture to the sausages I added whole wheat bread crumbs soaked in beer and a little olive oil to the seitan mixture. I also thought garlic would be good in these. A little agave was added for sweetness, but not much. I tasted the wet mixture and decided not to add lemon to this batch, I wasn’t certain I wanted that flavor this time.

Seitan Beer Brats
Makes 8 large brats


2 cups of whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of onion flakes
12 ounces of ale or beer
¼ cup of water
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon of dry mustard
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper freshly ground
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated on a microplane
1 teaspoon of agave
10 ounce box of vital wheat gluten
2 bay leaves


Combine all the ingredients except the wheat gluten. Stir so that everything is evenly combined. You want the breadcrumbs and onion flakes to absorb the liquid. Allow the wet mixture to stand for at least 5 minutes. Check the texture of the breadcrumbs; if they are completely wet you can add the wheat gluten now. Knead to thoroughly combine the wet and dry ingredients. This mixture should feel much softer than regular seitan dough due to the amount of bread crumbs, that will be what gives the sausages the soft texture you are looking for.

Put the bay leaves in the bottom of your pressure cooker. Add the steamer insert and enough water to come to the bottom of the insert.

Remove 8 sheets of aluminum foil from the roll to form the sausages. You want pieces that are about 10 inches in length so the sausages have at least three layers of aluminum foil around them. This will make certain they retain their shape while cooking.

Place the seitan dough on a cutting board and cut into eight roughly equal pieces. Roll each piece of seitan into a fat snake and place it on a sheet of foil. Roll the foil around the seitan snake like you are rolling a burrito (with open sides). When the seitan dough is rolled up twist the ends of the aluminum foil tightly like a tootsie roll.

Place the wrapped seitan sausages into the pressure cooker. Bring the cooker to pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Allow the cooker to return to pressure naturally. Remove the sausages from the pressure cooker and allow them to cool until you can remove the aluminum foil without burning your fingers. This will take at least 15 minutes.

Place the unwrapped sausages in a container with a lid and refrigerate until you are ready to use them. They can also be wrapped individually in plastic cling film and put into a Ziploc freezer bag and stored in the freezer for at least a month.

These sausages can be used in recipes that call for bratwurst.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 222.5
Calories From Fat (18%) - 40.19

Total Fat - 4.53g
Saturated Fat - 0.67g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 196.53mg
Potassium - 110.93mg
Total Carbohydrates - 14.06g
Fiber - 1.5g
Sugar - 1.32g
Protein - 28.85g


In the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that I am not a fan of beer. The only beer I ever liked was warm Guinness or Grolsch and that was a lifetime ago. If I am drinking it is red Italian wine (normally Brunello) 99% of the time. With that in mind these beer sausages are much better than I expected. The texture is definitely softer than normal seitan, but still firm enough to mimic a meaty bite.

You can expect to see a few meals with these in the coming days and weeks. I expect my husband will really like these.


  1. hi sorry ive been so mia lately, i think i have mentioned before that we are working on moving into a new home? its pretty crazy and actually we need to go RIGHT THIS second to go look at a dog run somebody has for sale, there was a coyote where we are at right now and this is a very residential area and the new house is on the edge of town.....coyote haven. so i need to go but i have been reading all your blogs and i just enjoy them so much! its funny you made that cracker pate looking stuff and it made me think of bratwurst.....and then you made that! how funny, i cant believe i used to eat that stuff, i think i did because it impressed my dad lol. talk to you soon!

  2. Michelle,

    I am glad you checked in I was wondering how things were going on the move.

    That is crazy that the braunschweiger made you think of brats (since it obviously did me as well). The brats turned out better than I expected. The addition of the soaked bread crumbs worked to make the brats more juicy without being spongy. Your husband may like these.


  3. I made these a few days ago, and they are really good. I think anyone would like these; omnis or vegans. I used them to make reuben-style sandwiches, which were really yummy. Especially heading into Autumn...these will go really well with "Autumny" harvest meals.

  4. Rose,

    Am I remembering correctly that don't have a pressure cooker? If yes, did you steam these or bake them and how long did you cook them?


  5. This recipe sounds really good! I don't a have a pressure cooker, how else can I cook these?

  6. Sarah,

    I would recommend that you steam them in regular pan for 30 minutes. That should work fine. Make certain to let them sit for a little while before you unwrap them so you don't get burned by the steam.


  7. Thanks for the quick response! My rice cooker has a steamer insert. I think I will try that. My hubby will be so happy!

  8. Sarah,

    The rice cooker is a great idea! Thanks for suggesting that for others.

    I hope you like the brats as much as we did.



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