Next up on the football tour of the country- Wisconsin. While I was tempted to just get a giant block of cheese, a
thirty twelve pack, and call it a day on this one… I had to go the extra yard and pull together a “real” meal. And before the Patriots move on to playing teams like the San Diego Chargers and the Miami Dolphins (more tropical- places where something lighter or of the seafood variety feels more appropriate), I needed to do one more meal featuring a giant slab of meat worthy of any Packer backer.
I can’t think of anything more suitable for this match up than a big ol’ bratwurst. I really don’t care for the word “bratwurst” or its abbreviation- brat- (it just sounds kind of gross) so if you’re in the same club as me 1) we can be friends and 2) just bear with me- we’ll get through this together.Usually my NFL Sunday Supper meal is something homemade from start to finish- but this one is more so pulled together. When I knew that I wanted to make some authentic Wisconsin brats, I knew I wasn’t going to be making the brats (duh) or the bread to serve them in (too much) and would prefer to get the kraut from someone better at making it than me. Because I wasn’t really making this meal entirely from scratch, I decided to bring another element into this NFL Sunday Supper. To support small business Saturday (my favorite shopping day), I got all of my ingredients from amazing local vendors thanks to Union Market and a new gluten-free bakery that opened near my apartment.The brats came from Red Apron Butchery (they call themselves, a candy store for meat lovers. couldn’t be more perfect for this meal).The kraut came from Number One Sons (a brother-sister operation that specializes in making kimchi, kraut, and pickles).And the gluten free hot dog rolls came from Rise Bakery– a new gluten free bakery that just opened up on 18th street!OH and the beer that the brats soaked in was DC Brau!There’s something really nice about buying products from the people you share a community space with. The entrepreneurial spirit and supporting ones neighbor are such classic American values- ones that I try to celebrate often- but I feel like they just fit in with this NFL Sunday Supper series so well. We all know football might is another cherished American specialty.
I didn’t let all these awesome people do all the work for me though- I swear I did some cooking. Because Green Bay brat lovers don’t just heat up a brat- throw it in a bun- and call it a day. Oh no. They simmer those bad boys in beer, garlic, and onions. And then grill ’em. (Sometimes the other way around too I’ve read- so many people have tried to school me in the proper technique, but they all say something different).
Because I don’t have a grill, I cooked the brats in a crockpot with the traditional contenders. Also, it just felt wrong putting my delicious, well made kraut into the crockpot mixture so I kept it out and just used it as a topping. I might get some flack for that but it’s okay because the patriots LOST to the packers so in retaliation- I’m doing what I want.
Slow Cooker Wisconsin Beer Brats
- 4 bratwurst sausages (about a pound)
- 1/4 cup butter (I used Kerry Gold, from grass-fed cows)
- 1.5 cans of light beer (don’t waste the other half- drink it or pass it along to a loved one- they will thank you)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tbl. garlic powder
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 buns or rolls of your choosing (hoagie or stiff rolls are better for these because they won’t get as soggy as regular hot dog buns would)
- Sauerkraut for topping + any other toppings you want (you just can’t use ketchup on these- that would be bad)
- In a slow cooker, combine the bratwurst links, butter, beer, onions, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and garlic. Cover and set to high. Cook for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Serve bratwurst on buns with onions and top with sauerkraut + your favorite condiments.
The patriots may have lost this game- but I have a feeling we’ll be meeting the packers again early next year. I’m calling a rematch. See you in February, packers.
Keep it wicked healthy and shop small xoxo