Slow Cooker Brats and Beer Cheese Dip

Use raw beer brats, which are typically located in the refrigerated section of your grocery store (near the breakfast sausage).

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 16- to 20-ounce package beer brats (about 5 links)
  • 1/4 cup white onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces German beer (Pilsners or ambers work well in this recipe)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (optional)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 6 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 3 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 3 ounces goat cheese or chevre, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons diced pimentos, drained
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

To serve:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Pretzels or pretzel bites
  • Cooked brats cut into 1” pieces

Special equipment:

Method

1 Remove the sausage from its casing: Using a very sharp knife, make a slit in the casings by running the tip of the blade down the length of the sausage.

Remove the casing from each of the bratwurst and discard.

Beer Brat Dip

2 Cook the sausages: In a cast iron skillet, or other heavy nonstick skillet, brown the brats over medium high heat and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and developing some caramelized spots. Break up the sausages with a wooden spoon or a potato masher as you cook—aim for bite-sized pieces the size of raisins, which are perfect for scooping with chips.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the browned sausage to your slow cooker. Leave the fat behind in the pan; you will use it for the next step.

Beer Brat Dip Beer Brat Dip

3 Cook the onions and garlic: Add the onions and garlic to the hot pan and for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables look translucent and glossy.

Beer Brat Dip

4 Add the beer: Lower the heat to medium-low, and carefully pour the beer into the pan. The beer will steam and fizz, so be careful. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits of food that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. This deglazing of the pan is important as it adds tons of flavor to the finished dip.

Bring the liquid to a boil and let it bubble for about 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly reduced. (This also cooks off the alcohol.)

Beer Brat Dip

5 Prepare and add the thickener: While the beer is cooking, whisk together the cornstarch, whole milk, Dijon mustard, salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and the ground nutmeg in a mixing bowl to form a smooth mixture.

Once the beer has reduced, carefully pour the cornstarch mixture into the skillet, whisking constantly. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture back to a boil. It should thicken quickly.

Once the mixture has the consistency of gravy and the whisk leaves a ribbon when pulled through the sauce, remove the pan from the stove and carefully pour the sauce into the slow cooker.

Beer Brat Dip Beer Brat Dip

6 Add the cheese to the slow cooker: Stir the cheese, one type at a time, with the other ingredients in the slow cooker. Make sure to stir thoroughly before adding the next one.

Stir in the drained, diced pimentos.

Beer Brat Dip

7 Cook the dip: Cover the slow cooker and cook the dip on high for 30 minutes to melt the cheese.

8 Hold the dip on the "warm" setting and serve: Once the cheese has melted completely, switch to the warm setting and stir the dip. Add the chopped cilantro and stir once more. Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste by adding more salt and/or pepper. I've found that the flavors deepen as the dip sits and it may seem to get saltier, so I recommend erring on the side of under-seasoning at this point.

This dip will keep (on warm) for up to four hours. Give the dip a stir every half hour or so to prevent a skin from forming on the top. If you feel like it's getting to thick, stir in a little milk to thin it out again.

Beer Brat Dip

9 To serve: Spoon the dip onto individual plates, or into bowls. Enjoy with tortilla chips or good ol’ Bavarian-style pretzels!

Leftovers can be stored in a food storage container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

To reheat: Heat on high for one minute in the microwave. Stir the dip and reheat at 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until warmed through.

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Comments

  • Rachel

    I am really not sure what happened but this was not a good party dip. I added everything to my slow cooker and it looked really good but then the longer it sat, the more watery it got. By the end of the night, it was more like beer brat cheese soup and I ended up throwing it away. Really disappointing and it didn’t work for a party situation at all since it was too watery to scoop out onto a plate. Most everything I’ve made from the simply recipes site has been really good so this was a rare disappointment.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Marta Rivera

      Hi Rachel! I’m really bummed to hear the soup turned watery. Without being with you, it’s hard to say what went wrong. I’ve made this dip for years, and have held the dip on warm for four hours and never had an issue like this.
      Some things I can help troubleshoot are the ingredients used. Did you use the beer? The sulfites in the beer help to prevent the cheese from curdling, so that’s important.
      Did you stir it at regular intervals? Not stirring every half-hour can cause it to clump up, and causes the condensed water that drips from the lid to accumulate on the surface of the dip. This could also cause it to become watery.
      I’m sorry it didn’t work out, and hope you’ll keep giving the recipes a try.

  • Kim

    Hello, a quick question– once the onion and garlic get cooked, do you leave them in the pan and add the beer or take them out before you pour the beer in? I was going to leave them in, but thought I’d double check! Thanks :)

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Kim! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. You can leave the onion and garlic in the pan!

  • Pouncy

    In Japan there are often bars right outside the base that get the game over satellite with the original commercials, not AFN! Super Bowl Monday breakfast buffets are part of the experience of being stationed in 7th Fleet!

    • Marta Rivera

      I know, right!?!?! We should’ve spent more time at the bars! LOL!

  • Marlene

    This looks amazing! What type of sausage Can I substitute for the bratwurst? (I don’t cook with pork.) Thanks!

    • Marta Rivera

      Hi Marlene, great question! Use an all beef or turkey polska kielbasa! Those are my go-to’s when I have a non-pork eater.

    • Carl

      I use Chicken, Turkey or Beef Italian Sausage and spice it up a little as I like it to bite back!

  • Missy

    UM YES! adding this to my gameday spread! I already have the beef, bean and beer chili and the blue cheese stuffed buffalo chicken meatballs down on http://www.behindtheplates.com. But, this will top it all off for some great dipping. Thanks for sharing!

    • Marta Rivera

      Can you invite us to your game day party!?!? Sounds like an amazing spread!

  • Deb in Indiana

    This sounds great. I tried to add it to Pepperplate, and for the first time I recall, the automated import did not work. Is there a site change that caused this? I love being able to import recipes and links to Pepperplate for ease of getting back to them in future.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Deb! We recently switched from http to https, which is a more secure website. Maybe that has affected the way the recipe would import?