Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grilled Sheboygan Brats

You would imagine that while visiting the bratwurst capital of world - Sheboygan, Wisconsin - that actually finding brats would be as easy as stumbling around whilst inebriated on Milwaukee's Beast Ice beer, however it wasn't *that* easy, as I found out yesterday. We had just finished up a wonderful overnight family get-away at the Blue Harbor Resort, but before we left town I was bound and determined to bring home some "real deal" brats.

So here's how it went down...
I started off by cruising up and down some of the main streets downtown and around the harbor area. Didn't see much except a very quaint, historic, lakeside harbor town and Larry's Hi-Lo Bakery on 8th street. So I resorted to Google in an attempt to find the best brats in Sheboygan and I wasn't going home without them. After a few red herring links from my search results, I decided I would try to go to the Sheboygan Bratwurst Company. GPS got me to the address listed, but it was a school bus repair facility instead. Looking up more Google links, I saw that someone on highly recommended Miesfeld's Meat Market, put the address in the ol' Tom-Tom, but when we got there it was a Korean grocery store. WTF?! So I call them on the phone and spoke to a very nice lady who told me where they were currently located, you betcha. We're in business now! On my way for the third try and I did ultimately find success.

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I strolled right on up to the meat counter and asked for 8 brats.

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They make and sell over a dozen varieties of brats as well as a bunch of other freshly made sausages:

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Now, I did feel like I had just gone through a bit of a goose chase over the past hour trying to get me some brats and drove a few miles out of my way to get to this place. However, I was not as despondent as Neil Page and I had a nice little chat with the cashier whose mannerism and voice accent was spot on for Edie McClurg, most notably in this clip:

(NSFW language and LOL warning)

With brats, hard buns and horseradish mustard in the bag - mission was complete and back on the road for the 133 mile drive back home to McHenry. By the time we got home, I decided to save the brat grilling for the next day instead. Today's menu is super simple - brats and corn on the cob. I've grilled a lot of brats and sausages in my lifetime and I've almost always pre-cooked them by boiling them before finishing them on the grill. This time however my instructions were to place them on the grill, no boiling, no cooking in beer, just grill them.

So that's exactly what I did, no arguments here:

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I will tell you that they took longer than 7-8 minutes to become fully cooked. These aren't pre-cooked brats, they are made with raw pork and beef. I cook hamburgers longer than 7 minutes, so I was in no mood for rare brats. Total cooking time was about 20 minutes on the lowest burner heat my gas grill is capable of. During the cooking, I prepared some yummy sauteed onions just to point of light caramelization:

And here's the finished product accompanied by horseradish mustard and genuine Larry's Hi-Lo Bakery Brat Buns:

Verdict? Best brats I've ever had, you betcha! ;)

Guten Appetit.

~ Johnny

Oh, by the way, don't burn da brats, try your hand at flippin' dem:

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