Be a Sconnie, Grill a Brat!

April 6, 2010 | By | COMMENTS

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Wisconsin has its own unique food culture: Door County fish boils, cheese curds, friday night fish frys. But nothing is more quintessentially Wisconsin than bratwurst. So, since Spring has arrived, why not write about brats?
While there are mass produced brats available in any Wisconsin supermarket, I get my from my local butcher at the Jenifer Street Market. They make their own brats in house, and have a variety of types available, including Lake Louie beer brats, jalapeno brats, and feta and spinach brats. I always opt for the regular “fresh brats.”
Those of you familiar with bratwurst from Germany will notice that Wisconsin brats bear little resemblance to their European cousins. Wisconsin brats are shorter, plumper, and feature much more coarsely ground meat whereas German brats are more like a foot-long hotdog in shape, and contain meat that is almost pasty in nature.

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Much like barbecue in the South, everyone in Wisconsin has their own way of making brats… and only their way is the correct way. Being Wisconsin, most preparations involve beer. Some people boil their brats in beer and onions before gilling them, but I just marinate mine in beer for several hours. Here, I used Sprecher Special Amber, but any decent local brew will do.
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After about ten minutes on the grill, they take on a nice char. Some people actually prefer them blackened. They’re typically topped with a combination of spicy mustard, diced onions, or sauerkraut. NEVER KETCHUP! Best served on a toasted kaiser roll.
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To pair with the brats, I made a sweet-and-sour cucumber salad with red onions, and Maytag Blue Cheese.
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To complete the cookout: gorgonzola potato salad. I used red potatoes, bel giososio gorgonzola (a from local wisconsin creamery), Neuske’s Bacon, onions, and mayonaise.
Spring has officially arrived!

Categories: Cooking Stories

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