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