One of my favorite tailgate appetizers is the pepperoni roll. Basically, you take a premade pizza dough, shape it into a rectangle and layer Italian meats and cheeses on it. You roll it and bake it and it's ready to reheat at the tailgate. Well, I wanted to make a savory version of this tailgate appetizer. I thought that the bratwurst would work really well. Here's what I did!
Pack of bratwurst sausage (I prefer Johnsonville)
Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese (1.5-2 cups)
Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (1.5-2 cups)
Premade pizza dough from the pop-can
1/2 of a large sweet onion (diced)
4-6 cloves of garlic (diced)
1-2 T dried parsley
The first thing you want to do is remove the casing from the bratwurst. This is pretty easy. Just slide a knife down the sausage and pull back the casing with your fingers. Crumble all of the meat and toss it in a frying pan.
Cook the brats thoroughly and remove from the heat. I like to sit the cooked brat crumbles on a few napkins to absorb some of the grease.
After the brats are done put the diced onions in the pan and sauté until they are soft (you may need to add a little oil here). When they are almost soft toss in the diced garlic and cook for a few minutes until the garlic softens. It's wise to add the garlic later so you won't burn it.
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non stick spray and sprinkle some corn meal or flour on the foil. Then, take the pizza dough out of the container and spread it into a rectangle. No worries if there are a few holes. Just rip off a corner and patch it up. The corners of the brat roll tend to be a bit doughy so it's ok to remove some of the dough from the corners of the rectangle.
Take the Monterey Jack cheese and generously sprinkle it on the pizza dough. Do not skimp! Then put down the sauteed onions and garlic on top of the Monterey Jack cheese.
Next layer the cooked crumbled bratwurst on top of the onions and garlic. At this time sprinkle some parsley on top. You need a lot of parsley. I eye ball it from the spice jar but I sprinkle it heavily. I'd guess anywhere from 1-2 T of parsley goes down on top. It provides a great flavor!
Take the cheddar cheese out and generously apply over top of the crumbled bratwurst. Again, go heavy here.
The last step is to take the edges of the pizza dough and bring them up over the top. You'll notice that the dough sort of sticks to itself so bring one side up on top of the cheese and then connect it with the other side. Once both sides of the dough are wrapped around the roll you can push or pinch it together so it will stay put. As an extra touch I like to sprinkle a little more parsley on top of the roll before baking.
Put the brat roll in a 400 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes. Pull it out and check the bottom. If the bottom of the roll is nicely brown flip the whole roll over. I use two spatulas for this flip. If the dough is not browned then leave it in for another 5 or so minutes. Once both sides are nicely browned the cheese inside should be completely melted.
At this point I'll wrap the brat roll in aluminum foil and transport to the tailgate parking spot. I'll preheat the grill at the stadium and reheat the brat roll over medium high indirect heat while still in the aluminum foil. The last step is to slice the brat roll and enjoy!