Smoked Cheese and Beer Fondue with Beer-Simmered Bratwurst, Grilled Bacon, Mushrooms and Rye Bread

Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
20 min
30 min
45 min

6 servings

  • 10 ounces sharp white Cheddar, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 6 ounces Gruyere, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 2 ounces smoked Gruyere or Swiss, shredded
  • Scant tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup strained cooking liquid from Beer-Simmered Bratwursts, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard, plus more for serving
  • A few drops hot sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound slab bacon, rind removed, sliced about 1-inch thick
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, caps only
  • 1/3 tablespoon canola oil
  • Six to eight 2-inch-thick slices high-quality German rye bread
  • Beer-Simmered Bratwurst, recipe follows
  • Sweet and hot German mustards, for serving
  • Special equipment: fondue pot and skewers
  • Beer-Simmered Bratwurst:
  • 6 cups German light ale
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 3 large onions, unpeeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, smashed
  • One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 pounds precooked bratwurst, pricked with a fork
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Preheat a grill for direct grilling. If using charcoal, arrange it so that you have areas of medium-high and low to medium-low heat.

  • Combine the cheeses in a large bowl and toss with the cornstarch. Bring the brat cooking liquid to a simmer in a medium saucepan over the higher heat. Add the cheese, a few handfuls at a time, and stir in a figure eight motion with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper if needed. Transfer to a fondue pot and keep warm.

  • Place a drip pan under the lower heat side of the grill and put the bacon on the grill. Cook until nicely charred on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter or cutting board.

  • Toss the mushroom caps with some of the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushroom caps to a grill basket and cook over the higher heat side, tossing occasionally, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

  • Brush the rye bread on both sides with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread over the higher heat side until toasted and slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter or cutting board.

  • Cut the bacon, rye bread and Beer-Simmered Bratwurst into chunks. Serve alongside the fondue with the mushrooms and the mustards.

Beer-Simmered Bratwurst:
  • Preheat the grill for direct grilling, high heat.

  • Combine the beer, caraway, coriander, mustard seeds, onions, garlic and ginger in a large stockpot. Then, add the bratwurst. Place the pot on the grates of the grill and bring to a simmer. Simmer the sausages until half-cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the grill and let the bratwurst sit in the liquid for 30 minutes. Transfer the brats to a platter or cutting board and strain the liquid into a bowl, discard the solids. Reserve the liquid for the fondue.

  • Brush the sausages with canola oil and grill until the casings are crisp and golden brown and the sausages are cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Keep warm until serving.

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