With congressmen sending so many pictures of their penises to unsuspecting internet servers, it can safely be assumed that 2011 shall forever be known as The Summer of the Sausage. And we’re learning more and more that said sausages can be impressive and juicy, even when they’re not currently being served alone in between two buns. So I move that we celebrate, by gilding our lovely sausages with a condiment fit for king and congressman alike.
This recipe originated when I was challenged by one of my little brother’s friends to find a vegetable that he would be willing to eat. He originally said “I’m not a picky eater. I just can’t have anything spicy or with spices. Or vegetables.” After looking at him in shock, then fear, then confusion, and finally pity, I asked him what his mother had served him growing up, and he said “mostly hot dogs.” He’s now a US marine, serving our country in Afghanistan as we speak. That means he’s surviving on a nutritious diet of MREs and sand, so I bet my vegetables would be looking pretty good to him at this point.
I figured that given the general nature of my brother and his friends, that the best way to help the guy learn to love vegetables would be to serve them with something he loved. So my choice was between boobies and beer. I had both on hand, so that was convenient, but decided that beer was the way to go. And that’s how beer and onion jam was born. The original version had peppers, also, and was spread into a quesadilla with shaved buffalo prime rib. Amazing.
But he immediately detected the vegetables and engaged in an elaborate fall, clutching his throat, tears forming in his eyes. Just kidding. He was quite polite. But seriously. Even the faintest hint of vegetation in his food was enough to make him look forlornly at his plate like it had betrayed him. I failed in my attempt to inoculate him against scurvy.
Everyone else agreed, though, that this relish made the dish. So I’m sharing it with you. May no wiener go naked, ever again! Unless, you know, you want it to. Only you can be the boss of your tubed meats.
Beer and onion relish
-2 large onions, diced (i used a vidalia and a yellow because that’s what I had)
-2 T butter
-1 bottle of flavorful beer
-salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar
*A note on beer– you can use whatever you want for this. Ideally, it’ll be a flavorful, slightly darker ale. German or Belgian would be good choices, obviously. I used 1554 this time, because there are only two beers I can keep in the house without Chris drinking them. If I get anything else, he’ll end up drinking it at some point, and then when I need it for a recipe, I’ll be SOL. 1554 is pretty intensely dark, and lends a pretty delicious bitterness to the otherwise quite sweet and salty jam.
–Melt your butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
–Toss in your onions and allow to rest in one spot until they start to brown, then toss here and there to start a good caramelization and color on them.
–Sprinkle with kosher salt and a bit of sugar
–When they’re getting a good golden color, pour in your beer and allow it to reduce down to a jammy consistency, stirring periodically to prevent burning. You can add a little water if the liquid seems to reduce too quickly and the resulting jam isn’t a dark, rich brown, with very tender onions.
–Spoon onto whatever, and refrigerate the rest
Could that be easier? No, it could not. It’s easier than sending a tweet of your Lil’ General.
Use this as a topping for sausages, steaks, grilled pizza, whatever. Or stir it into some German potato salad as a side dish. Or dish some into a baked potato. Honestly, you can’t go wrong. Doubling the recipe is probably a smart thing to do.
I’m not here to make judgements, so I feel like I can safely say that if you serve a German sausage without a big crock of beer and onion relish, then you are crazy.