Brats, beans, and beer on a boat!

Brats, beans, and beer on a boat!

Recipes serve 4 people.

Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC) hosts an annual Oktoberfest cruise, where a grill master cooks juicy sausages, complemented by a special cocktail and several kegs of German beer to enjoy throughout the evening. Attending boaters provide appetizers, side dishes, and desserts, and we spend the night eating, drinking, and socializing. It is one of the club’s most popular events, and the inspiration for the following feast. 

Wisconsin Beer Brats

8 raw bratwurst sausages

24 oz. beer (I like a lighter beer for cooking.)

1 medium onion, sliced

8 hot dog buns

4 oz. whole grain mustard

1½ cups sauerkraut, warmed

Prick brats with a fork and marinate in beer and sliced onion (using a large Ziploc bag) in the refrigerator for several hours, if possible. Next, boil the brats to keep them juicy by transferring sausages, marinade, and onions to a skillet and boiling on medium for 10 minutes. Drain, then grill or sauté brats on medium-high for 8-10 minutes until golden-brown. Serve on buns with onions, mustard, warm sauerkraut, and a side of beans.

Texas Beans (courtesy of Ann Peterson)

½ lb. bacon, coarsely chopped

1 cup onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

1 lb. skirt or other tender steak, coarsely chopped

¼ cup vinegar (red wine vinegar is good)

¼ cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp. ketchup

2 Tbsp. molasses

1 Tbsp. soy sauce 

¼ tsp. each salt and pepper

6 cups of cooked/canned beans, drained (use a mixture of 3-4 beans
for the best texture)

(e.g., small lima beans, cannellini, kidney beans, black, or pinto) 

In a skillet heated to medium-high, sauté bacon until browned and then place bacon in a bowl. In the bacon grease, sauté onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper until softened and remove to the bowl with bacon. Place steak in the same skillet, and cook until just browned, and then add to the same bowl. 

Add vinegar to the hot skillet, stirring well to get all the browned bits from bottom of pan, then pour in sugar, ketchup, molasses, and soy sauce and stir to make a sauce. Add the beans and the contents of bowl (meat, veggies) to the skillet, cover, and heat through. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm.

Baked Pears with Cheese and Nuts

4 pears, cored, halved, but not peeled 

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

Pinch of dried thyme

Pinch of salt & black pepper

¼ cup blue, goat, brie, or other favorite cheese

¼ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or other favorite nuts

Preheat the grill to medium-high or oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange pears, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet and spoon 1 generous teaspoon of cheese in the center of each pear half and sprinkle pears with nuts. Cook 10 more minutes. Serve warm. 

– by Lori Ross

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